Olive Harvest at Vallejo Home

Park volunteers gathered at the Vallejo Home olive grove the weekend of October 30 for the annual harvest. The olive trees are clones of those that were harvested when General Vallejo and his family lived there. Volunteers  Rich Svetlecic and Mark Medoff mounted ladders while Alan Piotter and Lulu used rakes to drop the olives onto tarps and then collect them in buckets. The harvest was screened by Ria van Omum to remove debris and, most importantly, olives penetrated by the olive fruit fly to lay its eggs. This fly is a major pest; olive trees at the Sonoma Mission are no longer harvested because of severe infestation by this insect. Ripe (black) and unripe (green) olives are mixed, the blend improves the flavor of the olive oil.  It was a bountiful harvest, about four hundred pounds of olives were collected.

 

 

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(photos credit Bob Alwitt)