Olives to Oil

Olives to Oil

Olives to Oil is our annual event run by CERES, bringing people together to harvest olives and have them pressed communally into delicious, local olive oil.

We’re excited to welcome you and your olives back for 2024. The program looks slightly different this year to help accommodate the demand and keep the program viable. Please read the details carefully

Drop off your olives

Residents of Merri-Bek, Yarra & Darebin.

Residents of Hobsons Bay, Maribyrnong, Brimbank and Wyndham.

Be sure to read the fine print, there have been changes to drop off & pickup.

Contact us:

How Olives to Oil works:

1. Book your ticket

Tickets are essential to take part and are only available to residents of participating councils:
Northside – Merri-Bek, Yarra and Darebin councils.
Westside – Hobsons Bay, Maribyrnong, Brimbank and Wyndham.

When booking you’ll be asked to select a weight category you expect to pick. Small quantities (under 20kg) remain free so if you’re unsure, bring a couple of household buckets of olives and book a free spot. 

2. Pick your olives

Pick no earlier than two days before your drop-off date, to ensure freshness. 

3. Weigh your olives

You must weigh your olives while picking to avoid picking more than you are booked to press. You can use kitchen, bathroom or luggage scales. You will not be able to drop off more olives than you booked for. 

4. Bring to the drop-off point

For residents of Merri-Bek, Yarra and Darebin drop-off days:

Sun 5th May 2024, CERES Brunswick
Sun 19th May 2024, CERES Brunswick

For residents of Hobsons Bay, Maribyrnong, Brimbank and Wyndham drop-off days:

26th May – Sunshine Place carpark, outside Visy Cares Hub
Sun 2nd June, Werribee Park Community Farm

Ensure you have proof of address with you on the day!

5. We weigh your olives

Turn up at your designated time, we’ll weigh them and pack them. You will take your containers home with you.

6. We press your olives

7. You pick up your olive oil

Come to your area’s pick up day to pick up your designated oil. 

Northside: Sun 16th June, CERES Fair Food Preston
Westside: Sun 23rd June, Werribee Park Community Farm

If you miss this day, there will be no further opportunity to pick up.

8. Share your olive stories

This program is about olives yes, but really it’s about working together as a community and creating a sense of connection. Help us spread this feeling further by sharing your story – either on socials by tagging @ceresbrunwick or #ceresolivestooil or emailing them to us directly at comms@ceres.org.au

For a rough guide one 10L household bucket equates to 5kgs of olives. 

If you haven’t picked and weighed olives before, book a free 20kg spot and bring along a bucket of olives. 

For olives under 20kg it’s free.

For olives weighing 20-40kg it’s $10

For olives weighing 40-60kg its $20

For olives weighing 60-100kg its $50

Olive weighing is for residents of Merri-bek, Yarra, Darebin, Hobsons Bay, Maribyrnong, Brimbank and Wyndham Councils. 

If you’d don’t live in the councils of Merri-bek, Yarra, Darebin, Hobsons Bay, Maribyrnong, Brimbank and Wyndham Councils, unfortunately we cannot press your olives this year.

We encourage you to reach out to your local council encouraging them to fund this project next year. Write to them yourself or use this template. 

We welcome volunteers who each take home a bottle of oil. If you’d like to volunteer, please get in touch at olivestooil@ceres.org.au

When you drop off your olives we will weigh them and you will receive a share of the oil based on your contribution. We won’t know until after the pressing how much oil it will be because this varies between varieties and seasons. Your olives will be processed in one batch along with all the others, so the oil will be a blend of types. We think it tastes delicious.

Pick your olives no earlier than two days before drop off or the oil may spoil. Wait until some of the olives have turned black, but don’t worry if there’s a mix of green and black olives – ripeness is a spectrum! Be sure to discard any that are damaged. If you’d like to pick olives with your community, come along to our community harvesting day

You can either pick them by hand, give the tree a good shake or jump on a ladder (getting someone to hold it steady for you!) To learn more about picking your olives, read our guide.

If you’ve got an olive tree or a neighbour that would like to share the oil, book a spot to drop off your olives.

If you don’t have access to any olives get in touch to volunteer on the day for some oil. 

Melbourne is full of olive trees and they are often left unharvested. Keep an eye out in your local parks and street verges. Keep in mind that trees planted on the nature strip may be well-loved and cared for by nearby residents and to avoid upset, you should ask before you pick the fruit.

This is a community festival and we are unable to press large quantities of private olives. We can let you know about our olive press partners who can organise to press your olives for a reasonable fee.


Olives to Oil Festival 2024 supported by:

Darebin council logo
Merri-bek council logo
Hobsons bay city logo
Wyndham council logo

Visit Brunswick East

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