Saturday, November 8, 2014

"Waste not, want not."

Now we reach the final stage in our series of posts about the olive press.

See the stuff falling from the pipe into the big bale?
It is olive waste, what's left after the machines grind up the olives together with their pits. 

We call it gefet in Hebrew;  I've seen it called pomice or pulp in English.
Whatever its name, there is a lot of it!
One newspaper article said that around 70,000 tons of gefet are produced by olive presses in Israel every year.

Susan and Mikki testified that the stuff feels oily.

The Bedouin and Arabs have long known how to turn this gefet into fuel. 
 Now Israeli Jews are learning too: the OliveBar Ltd. Biomass Quality Heating makes "logs" or bricks out of it, for burning in wood-burning stoves. (See pictures at the link.)
 In wood-burning stoves gefet becomes an ecologically perfect fuel, burning with 2.5 times more energy than a comparable piece of wood. 
And what is left after burning can be put on the garden as fertilizer.
Now they are even starting to make "green" charcoal briquettes. 
This Haaretz article has interesting information about the "new" idea of not wasting olive waste. 
So here ends the story of my two days of olive harvesting, 2014.
I had a great, albeit too short, time at Kibbutz Gezer with Dani Livney and his team of volunteers.
If you ever have free time between October and December, you can join in the happy harvest too!
You can also follow the progress and catch the enthusiasm through Dani's blog.
Related posts:
1. A quite different olive press, in Latrun Trappist  Monastery, 2009.
2. A fire at the Franciscan monastery proved that the olive tree trunks could keep burning inside for days, no matter how much they were hosed down with water.
3. See the whole series of 5 posts on the Kibbutz Gezer olive harvest and olive pressing.


VP said...

When I was a kid there was a factory nearby that converted this pulp in slabs of fuel!

Dina said...

VP, I'm happy to hear that! What about today? Italy must have tons of olive pulp!

Nadege said...

Leftover pulp used as fuel is a win-win situation.

Sara said...

Stories like this give me some faith in our future. A great use of the humble olive in every way. I am now wondering what the California olive growers do. Think I'll look it up.

William Kendall said...

That certainly is a good use for the leftovers.

Indrani said...

That is very good use of waste material.

Dina said...

Sara, please let us know what you find out about California's use (or not) of the pulp.

cieldequimper said...

Wednesday's post literally made my mouth water! This is cool.