Team LPS

Do Project Managers lead secret lives?

In our midst is a Project Manager who leads a second life as a grower of olives and the producer of olive oil.

Ian Juno started working for LPS at Defence in July 2015, working on minor capital projects less than $100K and 3 months delivery. Now at Kiwirail he is working on a Safety overlay system for trains that are outside of the signal area. The primary goal of this project is the avoidance of collisions and track warrant overruns.

In his second life, he manages a 2000 tree olive grove in Greytown in the Wairarapa. Seven cultivars have been planted originating from Tuscany, France, Spain, and Greece. These trees were planted in 2001 – 2003, and they are now maturing to the stage where for the first time in 2016 a mechanical tree shaker was used; 301 trees in 1 day – 2 tonne of fruit. This year 8 tonne of fruit was harvested off the grove with a further 3.5 tonne from two other local groves. This equates to circa 1400 litres of oil!

 

In addition they also pick 350kg of olives which are processed by a commercial briner and packaged in Plain, Tuscan and Provencal pouches.

 

Some basic facts; the olive tree flowers in September/October, fruit set is complete by the end of December, and harvest takes place in May/June; yes it’s winter and harvest goes on rain, hail, sleet.

 

During this time there is pruning, spraying for disease, mowing the grass, adding fertiliser by foliar spray – just to mention a few of the things that have to be done.

 

After harvest at the local press in Greytown, the oil is left to settle for two months. During this time the extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) is sent off for chemical and sensory analysis for Certification as EVOO. In the October the oils are submitted for the national awards. This year 9 oils were submitted and the results were:

3 Gold medals

Agrumato Blood Orange and Rosemary Flavoured oil and Frantoio EVOO

4 Silver medals

Picholine, Picual, Leccino EVOO and Agrumato Lemon Flavoured oil

2 Bronze medals

Agrumato Lime Flavoured oil and Koroneiki EVOO

Woohoo!

2 x ‘Best-in-Class’ for Agrumato Blood Orange and Rosemary Flavoured oil, along with ‘Best in Show’ for Agrumato Blood Orange Flavoured oil

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Agrumato is the Italian process where the citrus/herbs are crushed together with the olives for a true mixing of the oils from each.

 

If you are looking for the good oil and olives you can shop at Moore Wilson’s in Wellington or on-line at www.juno-olives.co.nz or if you are in the Wairarapa, call into the shop on the property. Ian is more than happy to show you around and to taste the oils and olives.