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.
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.