Well, the 2014 harvest is over, the nets are away, the bins washed out for next year and the new toy, our mechanical harvester, safely stowed away. 

What a breeze picking was this year, with the larger mats and the harvester, family and friends out helping, we flew through picking our 400+ trees in three days! Didn’t even give us time for all the food, wine, cheese and snacks prepared to keep hungry pickers going!!!

Our final yield, Leccino – 240kgs which gave us 32 litres of oil – so better get in quick if this is your favourite, and J5 – 1200 kgs which gave us around 230 lites of oil. The results are in on the Leccino, scores of 6.88 for peroxicity – which ensures it will be a good keeper (up to two years) and .11 for free fatty acid, which ensures top quality, disease free and tree ripened fruit producing pure extra virgin olive oil! 

And the best news … you can now buy your Poppa’s Olive Oil in three places – at the gate, at the Houhora Wharf Store, Pukenui, - 09 409 8819, and at Unit A12, 8 Henry Rose Place, Albany (contact Greg 022 444 7620 or Amy 021 127 2093). We are hoping to start selling through one or two Auckland markets in the near future.

 

Posted
AuthorVivienne Cramond
CategoriesPicking

Easter at Poppawhiwhi Olives saw a full house with guests from Auckland in the Apartment and guests from Australia in the cottage. 

Our apartment guests originally hailed from Zimbabwe and have settled in Auckland – they fell in love with the Karikari Peninsula and are now looking for their own little piece of it!  With plenty of real estate on the market up here I know their biggest problem will be which one!!!

Our cottage guests were on a short holiday in New Zealand. They just loved the fishing and had the catch to prove it! The photos show just what is out there. Another highlight for them was the trip to Cape Reinga… such an easy drive with lots to see on the way!

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AuthorVivienne Cramond
CategoriesAccomodation

Phew!!!  Despite all the warnings of doom and gloom and dark forebodings, we made it through Cyclone Lusi with only minor damage.  For sure five olive trees lost their grip on the land, but most of the olives managed against all odds to hold on through the blustery easterly winds. My granddaughters, Kaitlyn and Emily, and
I did the rounds on Saturday morning on the quad bike and, armed with stakes and ties and a heavy mallet, stood trees up, banged in stakes and tied the wanderers back in place!

Sunday morning brought a flurry of visitors… And a wander around the olive trees showed another tree had not withstood the tail end of Lusi’s fury on Saturday night. So out with the quad and the big guns and, thanks to our granddaughters’  Dad, Uncle and Granddad… this one isn’t going anywhere soon!

While Cyclone Lusi didn’t disappoint with the sheer force of the winds, she certainly disappointed in the amount of rain she brought with her. Not nearly enough to fill the tanks, but at least the olives had a much reeded respite… wrinkles and bumps ironed out smoothly and the olives looking plump again on the trees.
The warm sun yesterday, coupled with the rain and the early ripeners, the Leccino and frantoio have started
to turn purple. Time to start organising the troops for picking.

The wind and rain saw the return of two families of ducks that took up residence last year. The first family,
10 in total, move between the various ponds around the district, but the second family, a pair of paradise ducks moved in, laid their eggs and raised their babies on our main pond. While their strident call echoes across the block in the harshest of tones, it’s wonderful to see the ducks back again, and hopefully another clutch of ducklings will grow up on the pond. 

Posted
AuthorVivienne Cramond

We asked for rain, a rain dance, a rain storm, any rain!  The tanks are down to their lowest levels ever, the ponds have all but dried up, the olives are shrivelling on their stems even as I type! And what does the
weather forecast offer? Tropical Cyclone Lusi! Gale force wind warnings! Deluges, a batten down the
hatches kind of event! 

I can only hope that, as has been our experience so far this summer, they are wrong! The last thing we need at this stage of olive production is high winds blasting through the olive grove, creating havoc and snatching the crop off the trees right under our flying hats!  We need the rain, for sure, the olives need it to fatten up again so the oil can be extracted, and the timing is perfect - a month out from harvest.  But not at the cost of a large part of our crop! All we can do is "watch this space" - come back next week and we will give you an update!

Posted
AuthorVivienne Cramond

A picture not only says a thousand words, but allows us to see just how far we have come!  Looking over some old photographs of Poppawhiwhi Olives with friends has left me in awe of what time, nature, and a little hard work can achieve.   We were reminded of our first harvest in 2006.  What an exciting time that was, picking our very first olives, delivering our bins to the press and picking up our first 20 litres of pure, homegrown olive oil.  

Looking out at the Pond in 2006

Looking out at the Pond in 2006

Then in 2007 it was a trailer load of olives – about 400kg, which produced close to 60 litres of liquid gold extra virgin olive oil.  Last year we picked 850kgs which produced 160 litres of oil.  This years  target… At least as much as last year… but we would love to get break the tonne!  Will we do it?  

Looking at the Pond in 2014

Looking at the Pond in 2014

Posted
AuthorVivienne Cramond

Well, what an awesome summer we have had.  Plenty of sun, plenty of happy guests, and... 20 new arrivals in the form of baby bantams hatching.  Not much good for egg sales, but bodes well for an ongoing supply of Lemon/Lime Curd.  Suesue, our youngest bantam, managed two clutches.  Hatched 8 out of her first clutch, but lost one, probably to a hawk, then just yesterday hatched one single chick from a clutch of 11 eggs.  Given that Terror, the Rooster had gone back home not long after her first lot of chicks hatched, we were incredibly surprised to find her sitting again.  Thats bantams for you!  

The rains held off for the major part of the holidays and blessed us with perfect timing with enough rain just when tanks were getting low and newly planted poplar spears were in need of their thirst quenching drops.  

The Peninsula has had more visitors this summer than any I can remember.  Our two market days, Labour Weekend and this last Anniversary weekend were brilliant. So many stalls, such a variety of local produce, lots of goodies from "fried bread" to Maori Bread!  fairy floss, cupcakes, something for everyone.  And bric-a-brac for Africa!!!  A huge turnout of both sellers and visitors.   Looking forward to the next Market day at Easter time.

The fishing has been a different story though... the snapper went and hid for a month or so... only the lucky ones managed to get their limit, but for those hanging out for seafood, Tokerau Beach provided heaps of tuatuas at low tide and all along the beach.  Pukwheke Beach also produced nice juicy large tuatuas.   Tuatua fritters have been on everyone's menu this summer.

Now that the guests have gone, we are looking forward now to our next  harvest.  Graeme will be home for it and,  if this sunshine keeps up we should have some beautiful oil with intense peppery an grass flavours.  Roll on April. 

Posted
AuthorVivienne Cramond