Oregon Olive Oil

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Oregon Olives

Oregon Olive Oil

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Dec. 2011  Obsidian Green Olive Oil


Once again, in our climate On The Edge, we made a super green olive oil; we call it "Obsidian Green"™!  Here are seven bottles of the November 2011 oil, flanked on the right by the sole remaining bottle from 2010, and on the left by a small bottle of McEvoy Ranch Tuscan olive oil:

Last years Oregon Olive Oil had definitely gotten lighter over the past year, almost becoming a "normal" color for an early harvest olive oil.  The pungency and bitterness have also all but disappeared as well.  In fact, the only reason we are saving it is to compare it to this years olive oil.  As the expression goes: out with the old, in with the new!


I am pretty sure that the McEvoy oil was harvested a couple of years ago (there is no date on the bottle.  Bad Californians!  Bad Californians!).  And as you can see in the close-up (below left), it is fairly innocuous appearing as compared to ours.


Below right: a picture of 2011 California Olive Oil Ranch Arbequina olive oil I lifted off the web when they were harvesting.  Clearly even the Californians were harvesting green this year; COR called it a "two cough" (i.e. pretty pungent) olive oil.  Hah, we have them beat by a mile!

This year, for the first time, we did some custom milling (and labeling) for the Reken Estate.  For the first time in all of history, Oregon now has an 100% Oregon grown Estate olive oil!  Not in commercial quantities yet, but Oregon will get there, I'm pretty convinced of that!


And, you other olive oil millers take special note: it is real easy to put the date of harvest on the olive oil bottle.  In fact, I can think of no reason not to, unless you are trying to scam the less knowledgeable...

As for the milling itself, I am still learning and getting better (I hope!).  This year it was a special challenge to deal with the olives so green, even though they were picked the week of Thanksgiving, they were still extraordinarily green (see some more information, including weather data, at the Dec 18th write-up at Oregon Olives ).  The olive paste was extremely stiff, due to the lack of oil and water in the olives.  In fact, I reduced the batch size to 55 pounds in the last run of the year: see the three buckets below:

Especially taxing from a milling perspective was the water-oil emulsion created in the malaxor.  This was probably made worse by the very cold conditions during milling (got to get the new house finished and move the mill there and heat the darn thing!  Got to face the fact it is going to be pretty near freezing anytime I will be milling, which is way too cold to mill the olives!).


Right: stratification of the olive mill output:  floating on top is the olive oil, next is a layer of oil-water emulsion, then a layer of olive water, and a thin layer of suspended solids at the very bottom.  Most of the oil eventually separated out, but there is still some emulsion foam left as of today (December 22, 2011).


There is another piece of milling equipment, that I don't have, that might appreciably affect the situation: a vertical centrifuge.  But these are very expensive, more than the cost of an olive mill, so first I am learning other methods of dealing with the problem.  Hopefully, it is an artifact of my extremely cold working temperatures, and that problem I can solve more directly!

Frantoio olives at the Reken Estate, Thanksgiving 2011:


To contact us:

Community Milling Day is Sunday Nov 24, 2013 at 10 AM


Community milling is for those with less than 50 pounds of olives.  What we do in this case is to try and combine small lots of olives into a minimum 50 pound lot, and mill them all together.  You then get back a portion of the resulting extra virgin olive oil, in proportion to how many olives you contributed to the batch.  This oil is not trade legal and is for your own use (legally, you cannot sell it, since we are not a licensed production facility.  Same deal as someone who owns an apple press, and is willing to (say) press your church group's apples for apple cider and give you the apple juice.  You can't legally sell that either).

I would ask that you pick your olives Saturday the previous day, anytime within that day is fine.  Please DO NOT pick up fruit that has fallen to the ground - I am deathly afraid of getting a rock into the mill and destroying it.  Keep the fruit as clean as possible.  Any amount of olives is fine, we will pick enough of ours to add such that we can be sure of doing a mill run.  We will most probably be picking Arbequina (a mild variety even if still yellow-green) and Maurino (a noted Tuscan oil olive).

This is not an "Agro - Tourism" style "Event", but rather a working day for those who own olive trees, to bring in their olives for milling.  If you have olives and want them milled for olive oil, contact David@OregonOlives as soon as possible to be a part of this milling day.  If you have more than 50 pounds of olives, email for a separate (and also free) milling day just for you.

Milling Nov 24, 2010; that was a very cold day...



This site is pretty much a zombie: it may look alive but is really dead.  It was originally set up to be a site for selling our estate made 100% Oregon grown olive oil, but then Oregon passed a new law forbidding me to sell it as a farmer.  I still write about making olive oil, but at my "Blog":

                                       Oregon Olives

So, just wanted to let you know that the information on this site is all dated, and is not planned on being added to or changed anytime soon…

David Lawrence