Thursday, April 30, 2009

Garden Club Visits Kredouw Olive Press

- Sue Goosen -

At the beginning of April, the Garden Club enjoyed a visit to Kredouw Farm, owned by John Southern and situated at the foot of the Kredouw Pass. Fifteen members were shown around the farm by Adan Liepner, who supervises the extraction of olive oil by the recently installed, state-of-the-art olive press that was imported from Italy.

We watched fresh olives being poured into a large chute at one end, saw (and heard!) the crushing process and tasted the still-warm and pungent raw olive oil that came out of the other end, before it undergoes a separation and settling process. Nothing is wasted; skins, pulp and crushed pips are returned to the lands as mulch. The olive press is being widely used by local olive growers who bring their own olives for pressing, although +/- 200kg per run is needed to make oil extraction viable. The yield of oil is one litre per 7-11kg of olives, depending on the type of olive.

Then Adan took us into the large shaded area where the wonderful apples and tomatoes that Anthony and Zelia Mullins sell at the Saturday market are grown, and showed us the fields of olives, vines, fruit, and nut trees that surround the farmhouse. Finally we glimpsed John’s latest venture into wine making, and viewed the barrels of maturing wine.

There was an opportunity to purchase olive products from the newly established shop, and several members went home with Kredouw oil, bottled olives and olive paste.

The Garden Club meets again on 6 May at 15h00. For details of the venue, keep an eye open for Garden Club posters all over town or call Mike Upton on 023 5411-872.

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