WHY NOT GET INTO THE OLIVE BUSINESS? You can GET RICH!
Become a food biz millionaire. Everyone's hungry for good Greek Style olives. Wherever you set up your stand or approach a retailer with a jar or two hundred, you'll sell out! If you live in a place that doesn't freeze a lot, (never under 14 Degrees Fahr.,) you can have an orchard.
If you get the tree cuttings this summer, two inch pieces, clipped off friends' trees in neighbors' yards... you can have fruit four years from that day. Want to really make money? Buy an acre of farmland. Comb your area of suburbia to find a few trees that have good, big black fruit in November.. Ask the tree's owner if you can pick the crop. I've got a guy with a huge crop doesn't give a damn if you get them ALL off his lawn, so come see me in Reseda in November. It's OCT and the tree is HUNG with big black fruits a few the size of big plums.
99% of people with olive trees don't process their olives as they have no idea how easy it is. DO NOT TELL THEM. Just tell them it's huge work. Olives take a few weeks, The tree makes a big mess of fruit on the lawn and they'd WELCOME your taking the entire harvest. You are going to make a big pot of your own preserved olives to last you a year AND USE THE SEEDS to create an orchard of baby trees in your PATIO until you buy a country acre. So let's start with that PATIO POTTING GARDEN and use all the pals and relatives to buy and compost that COUNTRY ACRE as a CO-INVESTMENT.
THEN, on weekends you and your investors camp out there and TEND THE SOIL. First get stones and stumps off the land, no need to plow the acre, just plant very nitrogenous things on the land, peas and vetch, clover (this is called green cropping.) Do that in spring as that's the only time the stuff will grow. When the greens are knee high, disc it in. Or get a spade and TURN the greens under. It's easy. I'm an old gal and I did it with a big LAWN. Turned the divots upside down on a corner to rot the whole thing with manure layered between. Green cropping fertilizes the acre. Get all the sheep poop you can, TURN that in with the nitrogen. Seaweed, fresh from the ocean, GOOGLE COMPOST MATERIALS and get all that mixed in. MEANWHILE....back in Suburbia, let's get olive sprig CUTTINGS..
"This must be done in EARLY SUMMER, take your CUTTINGS off that neighbor's tree with which you will make your orchard. Mist propagation of cuttings is one of the best ways to propagate many olive cultivars. Being a subtropical, the roots and shoots of olive trees grow rapidly during late spring and early summer when soil moisture is relatively high, soil temperatures are warm (above 70° F), and air temperatures are not excessively hot (between 85° and 95° F.) Towards the end of this rapid growth is the prime time to take cuttings, during the months of late June and early July. Wood should be collected from vigorously growing trees, and kept cool until propagated. Pre-trim and place in plastic bags with moist sawdust, and process the material as cuttings as soon as possible. It is possible to keep the wood for several days under refrigeration without any problems. Semi-hardwood cuttings are selected from healthy branches, cutting pieces about 1/4 to 1/2 inch in diameter, and 4 to 6 inches long, with the lower leaves removed, and 2 to 4 sets of leaves remaining. Some propagationists will "wound" the lower portion of the stem, making slight cuts with a sharp object, and then use either a hormone powder or concentrated dip to help induce rooting. In my experience, quick dips of 3,000 ppm indole butyric acid (IBA is ROOTING HORMONE) have worked well for many of the olive oil cultivars, such as 'Lucca,' 'Frantoio,' 'Moralolo,' 'Mission,' and 'Picual.'
Not a frondy tip. These are semi hard.
Hormone powders that work for hard-to-propagate species should be chosen, such as Root Tone #40. 1 have also gotten tip cuttings to root, but I only propagate those when material is very limited and precious, as often, the wood is not mature enough to root. Some cultivars are just difficult to root, such as 'Sevillano.' A successful rooting rate of 20% would be high for this cultivar, while many of the others are as high as 90%.
Sterile rooting media should be used in standard nursery flats. A common propagation mix is 90% perlite and 10% peat moss. Standard nursery flats can often hold up to 70 cuttings without much difficulty. Some propagationists like to place cuttings in trays that keep root systems separate, as they find that subsequent transplanting is easier and less transplant shock means these trees grow more rapidly when placed in one gallon containers.
Intermittent mist and bottom heat are critical for success in rooting olive tree cuttings. The "artificial leaf" controller for a pressurized misting system is very effective. The controller consists of a rectangular piece of fine metal mesh on a counterbalanced metallic lever that rises as it dries, activating a mercury switch that energizes an electric solenoid to turn on the misting system valve. When wetted, the screen becomes heavy, traveling down, causing the mercury switch to shut off, closing the solenoid, stopping the mist. The entire cycle usually lasts about 5 seconds, occurring as frequently as every 3 minutes under hot conditions, or as infrequently as once every few hours during cooler conditions. Many propagationists believe this to be the best system available. For small systems electric heating cables buried beneath a thin (one inch) layer of gravel controlled by an adjustable thermostat is quite effective. Bottom heat of 75. F is usually very helpful in getting the cuttings to root rapidly. The cuttings should be placed in a shaded area in a greenhouse or propagating structure, and not exposed to direct intense sunlight, as this often causes desiccation. Air temperature up to 9O° F is acceptable. Temperatures below 7O° F often result in slow or poor rooting.
If you don't have a mist system keep the bed covered with plastic film, as close to the cuttings as possible to reduce air circulation and water loss.
Under normal conditions, rooting becomes obvious after about 45 days, but may continue for up to six months or longer (since olive trees can live for hundreds of years, they are in no hurry!) When several healthy white roots are present, you can transplant into bigger containers. If the young rootings are going to be kept in a greenhouse, some growers will transplant into smaller containers such as rose pots (about 2 inches square,) and move into one gallon containers when the weather is better the following spring. Young trees need to be protected from heavy frosts, and dry, cold weather. If it's less than 14 degrees Fahr, in you area, forgetabout it.
HOW TO PROCESS OLIVES
IN NOVEMBER, PICK a few lbs of BLACK RIPE OLIVES. Or almost ripe, green.
Wash the smog off them, rinsing in a sink, then set on rags to dry
Olives straight off the tree are bitter. They are not toxic but just
don't taste all that good. Curing is what removes the bitterness. Once
cured, olives can be stored with flavorings (lemon, oregano, garlic, and
others), but the first step is the curing.
Ancient Greeks cured olives by "dry curing" with salt, and over the
centuries, other methods were developed.They must have had a lot of
free beach salt lying around. Today we don't. So in Summer, I look for
SALT ON SALE. Mexican is good. NO IODIZED, has a neg flavor.
If you have olive trees and are interested in home-curing, it's easy ...
it just takes time. There are several traditional methods used in Greek
Note: There are other methods and one using lye (see Lye-Cured Olives
from our Italian Food site), but these are the simpler methods used in
many Greek homes.
Water Curing "Smashed" or "Cracked" Olives
(recommended for large green olives)
Wash olives. Put the olives in a pan and cover with cold
water for 6-8 days, changing the water twice a day, morning and evening,
until the bitterness is gone (taste to test). When ready, fill the pan
with brine * (about 1 part sea salt to 10 parts water) and lemon juice
(about 1 part lemon juice to 10 parts water), transfer to jars if
desired, and refrigerate for several hours before eating.
(recommended for black olives)
Wash olives. With a sharp knife, make a cut in the meat of the olive
(top to bottom) without cutting the pit. In a pan, soak the olives in
brine (1 part salt to 10 parts water). Make sure the olives are
submerged (use something to weight them down) and cover. Cure the olives
for 3 weeks, shaking the pan each day and changing the brine each week,
then taste for bitterness (they could take up to 5-6 weeks depending on
the olives). When they taste the way you want, place in jars with brine
(1 part sea salt to 10 parts water), add 4 tablespoons of red wine
vinegar and top with a layer of olive oil.
Dry (Salt) Curing
(recommended for large black olives)
Outdoors, in a basket, burlap bag, or wooden box lined with burlap (that
allows air to circulate), layer olives with coarse sea salt (you'll need
about 1 pound of salt for every 2 pounds of olives). Leave the olives
outside (with plastic underneath to catch the juices that drain) for 3-4
weeks, shaking daily and adding a little more salt every 2-3 days. Taste
for bitterness (rinsing the olive first). When no longer bitter, you can
either shake off excess salt and keep them that way, or shake off the
excess salt and dip them quickly in boiling water to get rid of the
salt. They can be marinated for a few days in olive oil to regain
plumpness (this type of curing will shrivel them), or just coated well
with olive oil (using your hands) before eating.
Dry (Salt) Curing
(recommended for small black olives)
In glass jars, alternate layers of olives with coarse salt. Every day
for 3 weeks, shake well and add more salt to absorb the juices. Test for
bitterness (rinsing the olive first). Continue to cure if bitterness
remains, otherwise, add warm water to cover and 4 tablespoons of good
quality red wine vinegar, and top with a layer of olive oil. They will
be ready to eat after 4-5 days.
Cover in olive oil and leave them alone for several months. Test for
Tips About Brine:
* * The water/salt ratio is perfect when a raw egg floats in it.
* ** For cracked olives, when they're ready to eat, transfer to a
brine that's less salty to keep for long periods.
How to get the big money. Take them to the outdoor FARMERS' MARKETS.
Get plastic containers as Glass is costly. Make OLIVE BREAD with Rosemary
and Sell homemade cheeses. You'll do well.
A loaf of bread, a jar of olives and thou
beside me in the wilderness and I hope you
brought the wine and salami, pickles,
mustard...MAYO and robust red wine.
Cuz all I BROUGHT WAS AN APPETITE !
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