Welcome to the Milling Page

Community & Custom Milling

Charles Sr. showing the Alfa Laval Mill.

Charles Sr. showing the Alfa Laval Mill.

What is Community Milling Day?
                                                             The date for 2018 is Sunday November 11th!  

A special day where you can participate in an event that is similar to the small villages in the Mediterranean where everyone brings their olives to the center of town where the olive mill processes all of the olives for the villagers. Small, medium and large producers are able to bring their olives to the Mill to get some olive oil made. Here someone can bring a small amount or up to a ton of olives to have their olives joined with others to make some olive oil. The olive milling process needs a large enough amount of olives (minimum of 1,000 pounds) to operate efficiently, so by combining olives, small olive growers can have their olives processed.

How many olives are worth participating?
That is up to you, but we have had people come with a bucket of olives to a truck load. If you want to join in and enjoy the process, even a couple ounces of oil will be fun.

How many olives make a gallon of olive oil?
Depending on the condition and cultivar of the olives, weather conditions and other variables, you can expect to get from 10-40 gallons per ton of olives. Bringing that down to a smaller ratio, you can possibly get .5 to 2 gallons of oil from 100 pounds of olives. 

Do we get to watch the milling of the olives?
No, unfortunately due to safety issues, we will not be able to allow anyone on the premises while we are milling the olives. There are too many moving parts, equipment moving, etc. that can lead to someone getting hurt. Only Olivina staff will be on the premises from 11:00 a.m. till 5:00 p.m.during the olive milling. We hope to, in the future, to have an area constructed where people can watch the milling of olives in a safe observation room.

Do I need to know what type of olive I have before Community Milling Day?
We will inspect all of the olives as they come in that morning to attempt to identify the type (cultivar) of olive, condition of the olives and then weigh them for record keeping.

Am I supposed to complete the contract before that morning? 
Yes, please complete as much of the Community Milling Day contract as you can and bring with you for check-in. We will work with you to complete the last remaining lines, such as weight, cultivar, and condition.

Where do I get the milling contracts?

You can get the contracts by e-mail us at Charles@TheOlivina.com to pre-fill in before the Community Milling Day. 

What do I store the olive oil in?
Please bring clean sanitized containers that can be sealed after placing your oil in the container. Preferably a new clean plastic jug will work best that has a cap that can be screwed on for a tight seal. We will only have a few extra containers on hand, so to ensure that your oil will be ready for you, please bring a container with you. Also please place a label with your name on it to help us determine your container from the other containers.

How do we pick our olives? What do we store them in?
Depending on the size of your tree(s), you can either hand pick them into a bucket by gently pulling down on the olive branches without ripping leaves or twigs from your trees to bring the olives off. If the tree is taller, then lay out a tarp under the tree branches and then use a pole such as a length of plastic pipe to tap the limbs to shake them. The olives will fall on to the tarp, then you can fold up the tarp and place the olives into a container. Please try to remove as many of the leaves, stems and twigs from your olive containers.

Store the olives in an open container that allows the olives to stay cool till you bring them to Olivina. By piling the olives on top of each other, it will build up heat, which accelerates the breakdown of the olive. It is best to store them where they stay neutral temperature, so they don’t freeze overnight, such as outside or get too warm from being contained or warmed up (like in the house or in an ice chest).

What to look for to tell the condition of the olives?
If they olives are dried or shriveled up, then they may not have received enough water or the tree was not supplying enough energy to that branch. If the olives appear to have little pin prick marks on the olive, it might be an indication of the olive fruit fly planting it’s larvae into the olive. You may want to cut open a few of your olives to see if you see damaged olive, maybe a little trail, like an ant trail, inside the olive where the larvae was eating his way through the olive. If there is substantial damage of your olives, there is a chance that we would reject your olives and not mill them, asking you to take them home and put in your recycle bin for composting. 

Olives with Fruit Fly Damage. We cannot accept these

Olives with Fruit Fly Damage. We cannot accept these

The Stages of Olive Ripening

The Stages of Olive Ripening

How can I tell when they are ripe?
It is best to pick your olives just before we mill them, so I would recommend that you pick your olives on Saturday afternoon or very early Sunday morning and then store them correctly (see above). You will find that the olives will be green, burgundy and black in color. Since we are harvesting in the middle of the harvest period, we will likely see olives of all colors. It is the inside of the olive that will reflect the maturity of the olive, not necessarily the exterior color.

What will you be inspecting them for? 
We are looking at the condition of the olive to make sure that they are in satisfactory condition, free of olive fly damage, minimal leaves or twigs. There can be NO dirt, pebbles, rocks, etc. that can damage the olive mill.

How do we get to and on to the Olivina Estate for Community Milling Day?
Directions are available on our website for those that are not familiar with where we are. Please DO NOT stop at the historic Olivina arch, but go further down Arroyo Road about 1.3 miles till you see our wrought iron gates. Gates will be open during the period of 8 a.m. to 11:00 and then re-opened from 5:00-6:30 p.m. for pickup of your oil, as well as the two pickup times on Monday.

Olivina strives to produce the freshest extra virgin olive oil that is possible by milling our olives as quickly as possible after harvesting the olives. We have the latest technology in Italian milling equipment from Alfa Laval to produce extra virgin olive oils.

Community milling day allows those here in the area to have olive oil produced from olives on their trees. So for those with as little as one olive tree can have their olives milled on this one day. The olives must be in satisfactory condition and free of olive fly damage in order to make quality oil. The olives will be weighed and then grower will get the appropriate percentage of the olives that are milled that day. Grower will be asked to complete and sign milling contract (see attached) prior to olives being accepted at Olivina.

Community Milling Weekend Schedule-
8:00 – 11:00   Olives to be delivered to Olivina Mill Room for milling. Olives will be weighed and receipt given to grower at that time. Appropriate oil containers must be left at Olivina with clear labeling of growers name at this time. Payment will be made at this time and pickup time will be registered. Growers will not be able to remain on premises at time of milling for safety & liability reasons.

11:00 – 5:00 Milling of olives to be completed.  No guests will be allowed to stay on premises during this time.

5:00 – 6:30 Growers can return to pick-up their olive oil. Additional times will be available from Noon to 1:00 pm or 5:00 to 6:00 p.m. on Monday October 12th.

Fee Schedule for Olive Milling:

         For Community Milling Day:

               Zero – 2,000 pounds; 25 cents per pound (minimum charge of $25.00)    (use Community Milling Agreement)

         For Custom Milling:

               Less then 2,000 pounds there is a minimum one ton fee that will be charged.

               Over 2,000 pounds $450 per ton (2,000 pounds) (Use Custom Milling Agreement)

Note to growers: Typically olives produce about 10 to 40 gallons of oil per ton of olives or that translates to 50 to 200 pounds of olives to equal a gallon of oil. This is not a guarantee of production, but only a industry standard, actual volume will depend on quality & cultivar of olives of harvest being milled.

We look forward to encourage all of those in our area to utilize the olives in our Tri-Valley to produce extra virgin olive oil. 

To answer any questions regarding Community Milling Day please e-mail us at .Charles@TheOlivina.com.