Olives to Oil - Community Harvesting in Hobson Bay

At 3000acres we not only want to see more people growing more food in more places, we’re also passionate about making the most of the abundance that Melbourne’s streets, parks and productive gardens produce. In 2018, supported by Hobsons Bay City Council, we partnered with Barfold Olives to launch a community olive harvesting and pressing project to create a truly local Melbourne olive oil.

Hobsons Bay Council has advanced street-tree mapping data and we identified 900 olive trees throughout the municipality that produce an undervalued crop. Making olive oil is an energy intensive task that requires specialist equipment and is therefore out of reach for most home gardeners or foragers. This project encouraged people to get together with their friends to harvest olives and bring them to several drop-off points to be taken away for pressing. 3000acres provided how-to guides and coordinated all the logistics for collection and transport of the olives, and delivery back to participants of the freshly pressed oil.

We are looking for more opportunities to run this project across Melbourne as a way to celebrate the rich heritage of olive producing cultures in our suburbs, build connections in local communities and reduce food waste by making the most of this abundant urban crop.