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Picking Olives at the Police Station

I’ll never forget my partners face when he picked an olive from the tree for the first time and tried it! As those of you who have experienced this know, olives straight from the tree are disgusting and need to have the bitter oleuropeins removed. That is why the olives you buy have already had the oleuropeins removed through soaking, curing and fermenting.

Where I currently live in Mt Maunganui, New Zealand, the climate is coastal and cool temperate; warm and dry in summer and cool and wet in winter (without frost) and alot of people plant olive trees in their urban gardens as ornamental trees that do well in our mediterranean-like climate.

Thanks Mr. Policeman for the Olives

Mr Policeman has planted a beautiful big olive tree next to the footpath and it is loaded with olives after a really dry summer. I have added it to the For Greenies Communal Food Plants Google map. Olives in New Zealand are ready to pick in Autumn, around April/May when some of the green fruit is beginning to turn purple. Curious passers-by asked us what they were and were surprised to know they were olives. As we explained the process of curing them before eating we had lost about half of them. This is because curing olives requires time and patience, and alot of it!

How to Cure/Ferment Olives

This is the first time I have cured olives and all of the information I have read requires soaking of the olives in a saltwater brine solution, for up to six months, changing the brine every so often.

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Peace of Cake

Here’s a recipe that makes a heavy and hearty moist cake that is perfect with a cup of tea on a cold winters morning.

Jude Fanton from The Seed Savers’ Network whipped it up with what she had in the cupboard, and seeds she had soaked that were going to be used in a meal but weren’t. It goes to show what can be made without following a recipe and utilising what you already have. Read More & Comment →

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The Seed Saver’s Network Upcoming Byron Bay Workshops

It is one thing knowing how to design and plant a food garden. Knowing how to prepare the harvested food for eating is something equally important and completes the whole process of organic gardening. All your efforts in the garden are rewarded when you taste the delicious nutritious food that you have produced yourself – and it always tastes better when you have grown it yourself! Read More & Comment →

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