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Hand-Picking Olives in Halkidiki, Greece November 2013


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Hand-picking olives

In the region of Halkidiki, the local Greeks are very busy picking the final crop of olives for 2013.

To produce the finest quality olive oil hand-picking is essential.  Only selecting the best olives by eye can assure superior oil quality. After picking the olives they must be taken to the oil-pressing stations on the same day.

This year’s Halkidiki harvest is unfortunately well below the normal average one.  The previous season had seen a bumper crop.  No one living could remember such a massive harvest. Now the olive trees have to rest.  This is a natural cycle for olive trees.

Each region in Greece has olives with different flavour.  Indeed the taste and consistency of the olive oil changes from olive grove to olive grove, depending on the micro climate, the soil and the olive variety.

Some of the trees in the Halkidiki region are hundreds of years old. This olive variety is famous for the finest, most succulent green olives in Greece.

Natural olive oil has many beneficial properties. It is used in cosmetics, soap, baking, frying and of course essential in the tasty national ‘Greek Salad ‘.

Local Greeks eat olives ‘ un-pitted ‘ — removing the core stone from the olive rapidly alters the delicate original flavour.

Soon the olive groves will be quiet again, as the trees sleep through the winter ready to burst into blossom next spring.

Written and read by John Edwin Skelton.


harvest: the crops that have been  gathered in a season.
harvest in other languages

soil: the top layer of the earth in which plants grow.
soil in other languages

flavour: (flavor AmE) a taste.
flavour in other languages

succulent: juicy.
succulent in other languages


  1. I think olives are very healthy 🙂
    we should eat them and the products made of them more often John 🙂

  2. I didn’t know that oleves are used in such a many ways. The countries located in the Mediterranean are definately blessed by God.

  3. Hello Charlie, Two spelling mistakes

    Hope you don’t mind me correcting them >>>> olives >>>> definitely

    Plus minor grammar correction ‘ in so many ways ‘

  4. Yes it is true that last year was a great year for
    the olives in Halkidiki. Many years the local people had to see so many olives! In my family also everyone was happy with the amount of the olives. The good seasons of olives are every two years.