Home » Garden » Vegetable Garden » Olive Harvest is Here: How Do You Cure Olives?

Olive Harvest is Here: How Do You Cure Olives?

On Tuesday I picked the olives off my tree here in Houston. This is the first year I’ve had good production on my Pendolino Olive Tree. It is about 12 feet tall (age unknown but I’ve had it for 3 years). It is in a large clay pot. I know you should not try to eat them fresh from the tree because they are really, really bitter. I tasted one and I can confirm… “yuck”. Olives need to be cured by soaking (brinning) them.

Fresh picked olives
Freshly picked olives

I found these simplified instructions (PDF) from Saundra Winokur of Sandy Oaks Olive Orchard (outside San Antonio). She is an expert at growing olives in Texas.

Olive tree with ripe olives.
Olives ripe for picking

After reading it, I had a few more questions for Saundra:

1. Do I need to change out the brine water?

You may want to take the scum off and add more brine water to keep the olives covered. But you do not want to change the water.

2. Before soaking the olives in the brine, do I need to crack them? or cut into them?

We don’t break the skin. We just soak them a little longer.

A bowl full of green and purple olives.
Ripe olives need to be cured

I will prepare the brine today and get this process started. Perhaps I’ll have edible olives in time for the holidays?

1 thought on “Olive Harvest is Here: How Do You Cure Olives?”

  1. girlgonegardening

    Oh how fun! Growing up in CA, we had olive trees in the front yard, huge ones as it used to be olive orchards there. Grandfather would cure the olives and we’d have homegrown olives for the thanksgiving table.

Comments are closed.

Scroll to Top