Harvesting is undeniably one of the most critical stages in olive oil production, and at Dafnis family groves, it presents a unique challenge due to the tall stature of our olive trees, ranging between 15 to 25 meters in height. Traditional methods such as using ladders to reach the high olives can be impractical and risk causing damage to both the tree and the quality of the next season’s produce. Recognizing the need for a gentle and respectful approach to harvesting, the Dafnis family has developed their own method.
Our approach to harvesting revolves around treating nature’s generosity with the utmost respect. To overcome the challenge posed by the height of the trees, we employ a specialized hand-harvesting technique using a vibrating rod. This rod is carefully applied to the branches, gently vibrating for a maximum duration of 15 seconds. This method allows the ripe olives to detach from the tree and fall into nets positioned below. By avoiding harsh mechanical force or shaking the trunk violently, we minimize the risk of damage or wounds to the branches, ensuring the integrity of the olive harvest.
To further safeguard the quality of the olives, we have designed our nets to be slightly elevated from the ground. This elevation prevents the olives from bruising upon impact, preserving their pristine condition. The attention to detail during the harvest extends to the timing as well. Our harvesting season commences in early October, just before the unripe green olives begin to turn. It is crucial to be vigilant and gather the olives at precisely the right moment, which usually falls within a three-week window. Each batch is promptly transported to the family mill within 24 hours to undergo pressing.
This meticulous and considerate approach to harvesting treats nature’s generosity with reverence. While other olive producers may anticipate a yield of approximately 350 kilos per tree, our focus lies in obtaining around 50 kilos of perfect olives per tree. This deliberate reduction in yield per tree allows us to prioritize the exceptional quality of the olives we produce.
Through our careful harvesting method, we ensure that the olives are gathered at their peak ripeness, maintaining their optimal flavor, aroma, and nutritional content. This commitment to excellence is a testament to our dedication to producing olive oil of exceptional quality. By combining our unique harvesting technique with nature’s bountiful offerings, we are able to create an olive oil that reflects the true essence of Corfu’s olive heritage.
In summary, the Dafnis family’s innovative approach to harvesting addresses the challenge posed by the height of their olive trees. By employing a gentle and respectful method using a vibrating rod, they carefully detach the ripe olives from the branches, allowing them to fall into nets without causing damage or wounds. The timing of the harvest is crucial, and each batch is swiftly transported to the family mill to ensure the freshest possible pressing. This thoughtful and attentive approach treats nature’s generosity with the utmost respect, resulting in a low yield per tree but an exceptionally high quality of olives.