October and November have been the months for the collection and production of olive oil in Sant Joan de Binissaida. With the summer season over, the work in the field demands our attention, and we wanted to share with you what this precious process is like that we carry out with great care and care for our plantation. Curious with us?
The path of ecology
Menorca, like any good Mediterranean island, has a long tradition in the production of olive oil. Olive trees, a species that can be easily found throughout the entire arc of the Mediterranean Sea, is no exception in Menorca. Although oil production is scarce today. However, several farms, among which are Sant Joan de Binissaida, have opted for the recovery of plantations with varieties such as Arbequina and ecological practices to produce a high-quality oil.
In Sant Joan de Binissaida we have extended these practices to many of the aspects that are part of our farm, such as the generation of electricity with renewable energies or the use of a green filter to treat wastewater. Regarding the olive plantation, the application of permaculture is an aid to regenerate not only the plantation, but the entire biological ecosystem associated with it. In addition, we have opted for an underground and drip irrigation system, which allows us to save up to 88% of energy compared to the previous method, which was by sprinkling.
How we pick the olive
Thus, in the 12 hectares of land in Sant Joan de Binissaida we have some 1,500 olive trees planted. The olive harvesting process is currently carried out manually. The finest branches of the tree are delicately shaken so that the olive falls into a mesh placed on the ground which, once full, is emptied into a tank. In addition, with manual shaking, damage to the tree is avoided.
Once the olive is collected, it is passed through a defoliator to remove the leaves of the tree that may have gotten stuck. In this way, the much cleaner olive is passed to the mill. Entering the mill, the olive is cleaned and defoliated again, already inside the mill circuit, mixing it with a little water. This last cleaning step ends with the drying of the olive, which goes directly to the crusher and the press. At this point in the process, the product is already a uniform paste that goes through two mixers, where a proportion of water is added and the mixture is beaten for about 10-12 minutes. The next step is to centrifuge the mixture, in which the components are separated, decanting the oil and the remaining paste. As for the oil, it is deposited in a tank through a filter, to finish removing any possible impurities. Once the oil is produced, it is usually left to rest for a few days before bottling it, so that the grounds are cleaned.
And so we come to the can that those of you who have been to Sant Joan de Binissaida already know. A tasty and smooth oil, transparent and sweet in color, which is one of our most precious assets.