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The majority of the olives on the farm are hand-picked, while some of the olives used for oil production are picked with a mechanical shaker. The perfect time for harvesting is when 50% of the olives on the tree are half ripe, 25% green and 25% black. This ratio creates the intense fruity, peppery flavour particular to Morgenster olive oil. Our trees are pruned on the single-leader system, and planted 6 x 3 metres to accommodate mechanical harvesting and optimum yield.

The mechanical shaker is only used for the cultivars destined for olive oil and on trees older than six years. Use of this machine on trees under the age of six years would damage their future growth.

The table olives on Morgenster will continue to be picked by hand in the traditional way, ensuring a quality end-product. We keep all the cultivars separate during harvesting and processing.

Mechanical harvesting
Critical to the production of high quality olive oil is the ability to harvest the olives when they are at their optimal ripeness. Traditionally this was done by hand, but this labour intensive and time consuming process does not allow for olives in commercial numbers to be harvested at the peak of ripeness.

Mechanical harvesting allows for both increased quantity and quality. Collaboration with Berardinucci and an agency for their products in South Africa has allowed Morgenster the ability to make a significant contribution to the South African olive industry as a whole.

Berardinucci manufactures and sells machines and tools for the mechanical harvesting of olives and hanging fruits. Their extensive experience led to the development of a shaker that gives better results for the falling of the fruits and the easiness of the work.

Berardinucci produce two kinds of machines:
Self-propelled shaker PUMA, VM 90 CV engine with 4 driving wheels. The controls for the machine and the shaker can be activated manually or by remote control.

TORNADO shaker, with restrained weight and dimensions, is easy to link with its Cardan joint and three points fastening system; and doesn't need any further mechanical adaptors. The commands can be sent by remote control to make the operations of positioning and action easy and smooth.
Tel: +27.218521738   Fax: +27.218520835   Email:  
P.O. Box 1616, Somerset West, 7129, South Africa
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