Olive Picking and Preservation

SCP leader:                          Ms Lorna Darmanin

Participating school:      St Benedict College, Middle School, Kirkop

Students’ Age:                    11-13 years

Project time frame:          Project Year 1

  • Research question: What was the research question? What are the underlying regional problems?
  1. How can the school make the best use of its olive trees?
  2. Are families aware of the benefits of the olive tree?
  • Approach: How did you proceed?

The school has a large number of olive trees surrounding the premises. If the olives produced are not picked up, they end up being wasted, while also causing unnecessary litter in the yard and ring road, which could even cause accidents as it becomes slippery.

Students were introduced to the health benefits of the olive and its derivatives and its use in traditional cuisine. This information was also conveyed to the students’ families to encourage them to use olives and to obtain feedback about how they can be harvested and used.

The olives were harvested by a number of different students, to involve as many participants as possible, always adhering to COVID restrictions about keeping bubbles and social distance. The olives were then sold, at a very cheap price, to the students, staff and parents, who preserved the olives themselves at home after being shown the traditional method in class and even given the recipe on social media.

  • Solution: What are your findings?

A sustainable solution was adopted to make full use of the olives that would have otherwise been wasted. The project also highlighted traditional/cultural practices related to the harvest and use of olives as well as generating money that was invested back into environmentally friendly actions organized by the school.

  • Recommendation: What solutions have you developed for the regional problem(s)?

Plans are to repeat the project every year and possible diversify – through more input from families – the use of the olive and its derivatives.

  • Dissemination: How did you promote your recommendations?

The project’s results and suggestions were disseminated throughout the whole school community and beyond through the school’s social media platforms.

  • Photos

(a) Lessons about olives and their derivatives

(b) Olive harvesting