It is the great unknown when the beginning of the campaign of the olive arrives. When is the best time to pick the olives?
In recent years, early harvesting is supported but this time is always the subject of debate between olive growers and cooperatives, as each season is different due to environmental conditions. The time of harvesting is a fundamental factor in the quality of olive oil, hence its importance and controversy. To get an idea of when is the best time for our harvest, we must take into account the Index of Ripening of our olives. The quality of the oil remains constant for a long period after ripening, provided the olive is kept in the tree. To start harvesting, it is advisable to follow the Maturity Index (I.M.):
Class 0: Intense green skin.
Class 1: Yellowish-green skin.
Class 2: Green skin with reddish spots in less than half the fruit, beginning of veraison.
Class 3: Reddish or purple skin in more than half of the fruit, end of veraison.
Class 4: Black skin and white flesh.
Class 5: Black skin and purple pulp without reaching the middle of the pulp.
Class 6: Black skin and purple pulp without reaching the bone.
Class 7: Black skin and purple pulp all the way to the bone.