Growing olives in Chichester

Well, yes, umm….

Stephen and Sarah Nunn are believed to be the first people to sell olives grown in Britain……The couple’s glass-covered grove has yielded 200 kilos of olives, which are worth a total of about £4,000 and are being sold for £3.50 pounds per 100g, four times as much as their Mediterranean rivals.

Oh aye? You could pick 200 kg from the wild trees around here for purely the labour of picking them (one friend did just that a few weeks back just or the giggle). You\’d get 20 litres of oil from the local mill, 20 litres that you could buy from the supermarket for about €40.

It\’s an interesting little demonstration of Adam Smith\’s point about grapes, glasshouses, Scotland and wine really, isn\’t it? Better not to try and be all local and self-sufficient, but to trade with places with comparative advantage.

Of course, people should be entirely free to waste their time in this manner, to build greenhouses for olive trees,…but I would be interested to know whether they\’ve got EU quota there for olive growing is indeed one of those industries where you do need permission.

However, for true stupidity, try this:

Once picked, the olives are drained in water for 10 days before being placed in brine for nine weeks, until they are ready to eat.

Yes, you don\’t eat them fresh.

John Clint, owner of Hornets Provisions village store, which is selling the olives, said: “People are buying them in great numbers because they like buying local food. They have that lovely fresh taste that only comes from locally grown produce.”

Fresh? They\’ve just been pickled for nine weeks!


7 thoughts on “Growing olives in Chichester”

  1. Good point , I am a great fan of local produce but if you produce ornamental cactii locally that rather defeats the purpose .

    Sussex Cider is blooody lovely though,

  2. Brian, follower of Deornoth

    Just think of all the food-miles that have been saved! It makes one pine for the glory days when Poland exported tropical fruit.

  3. Neighbours who shoot are kind enough to bung me a brace of pheasants from time to time. You don’t want to know how long it takes whilst sitting outside in a minus degree environment to pluck and draw them. Conversely, our local Quik-E-Mart is selling boned, stuffed (pork and apricot) oven-ready pheasants for £2.67 each. You’d think it was a no-brainer.

  4. Worth £4 grand? £20/kg? really? can I export some of mine next year? I’ll carefully label them as picked by an Englishman and packed in England…

  5. Just spent several hours picking, sorting, cleaning, slitting 6KG of the bloody things. Seemed a shame to just watch them rot on the tree but not again.
    Anyone wanting 1/2 ton free olives post here…

  6. jus’askin

    Back at the family pile the Elders Remittance hang pheasants “fully clad”, usually from the rafters in the out-buildings. Once the desired ripeness has been acheived* plucking is much simpler.

    *The rule of thumb favoured by Pa Remittance is to hang the bird by its tail feathers. Perfect ripeness is signaled when the bird becomes detached from its plumage.

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