November 1st, 2011: Rocca Olive Harvest

In 2001, the Rocca family began a slow but steady return to the land of our ancestors: Italy. Presently, there are nine members of my immediate family living in Italy (2 brothers, 2 sisters-in-law, 2 nieces, and 3 nephews) compared to three in the states. Visits are in order. But don't think that visits to Italy are all fun and games. We are put to work on the annual olive harvest, slaving for hours and (sometimes) days to produce the purest, greenest, spiciest, oil around.

Ever wonder how olive oil is made? Read on...

Find yourself in the Italian countryside. 
Confirm there are olives ready for the picking.

Spread the nets, start picking and shaking.

Recruit younger workforce.
Provide workforce with appropriate rakes for the job.
Resolve technical difficulties.
Supervisors inspect trees for missed clumps.
Send nimbler workers into the trees for hard-to-reach olives.
Gather picked olives in nets.
Scour the earth for rouge olives. Often due to holes in nets.
Consolidate bounty.
Assemble crew for classic photo.
Take olives to local oleificio.
Shake out most of the detritus.
Smash them olives. Pits and all. 
Stack the olive pulp.
Press. Press! PRESS!
Watch the final Pieralisi do its job and the finished product starts flowing.
Optional: Curious minds may be inclined to stick their head under the spigot for extra shiny hair.
Take home the goods, put on your pajamas, and start dipping!

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