Groen goud uit die omgewing

27 April 2017 | Agriculture

Mariana Balt

Sowat 120 km noordoos van Okahandja, in die Hochfeld-omgewing op die plaas Hartebeestteich-Süd, staan boordevol bome wat op die oog af glad nie beïndruk nie.

Slegs verbygangers wat weet dat hierdie bome se vruggies later as eksotiese olywe hul verskyning in gourmet disse gaan maak, en hoe gesond die neweprodukte van dié vruggies kan wees, sal hul hoegenaamd aan die valerige groen boompies steur.

Wanneer kliënte op Okahandja of in Windhoek in 'n Spar-winkel instap en rakke vol olywe, groen en swart, gegeur met knoffel of gewoon, in netjies-verpakte plastiekhouers sien, besef min van hulle dat dié produk plaaslik verwerk en verpak word.

Met 'n besoek aan Heiser Olives op Hochfeld, vertel Rolf Heiser meer van dié projek:

Hy het die eerste 700 olyfbome in 1991 na Namibië gebring en op die plaas Hartebeestteich-Süd, enkele kilometers noord van Hochfeld geplant. Vandag is daar sowat 6 000 bome wat 'n volle 20 hektaar beslaan.

Hoewel olywe meesal in die Mediterreense lande verbou word, verleen die grondkwaliteit en klimaat in die Hochfeld-omgewing hulle daartoe om dié produk uiters suksesvol te kweek. Met meer as 300 dae se sonskyn per jaar, gematigde temperature en nie te veel reën per seisoen nie, groei die bome optimaal en produseer hulle goeie kwaliteit vrugte.

Verskillende variëteit olywe is geskik vir tafelolywe en olyfolie en dié twee soorte is gemeng aangeplant op die plaas, onder andere om sinvolle kruisbestuiwing te bewerkstellig.

Rolf-hulle het intussen die plaas aan die regering verkoop en koop nou die olywe aan om dit in die aanleg op Hochfeld, waar sy vrou Karin ook 'n gastehuis bedryf, te verwerk, te verpak en te stoor.

Die olywe word tussen Januarie en Mei met die hand gepluk. Groen tafelolywe is dié wat groener gepluk is en swart olywe is die kans gegun om ryper te word. Die afgelope seisoen kon hulle 19 ton olywe hier oes.

Die geoeste olywe word eers 'n jaar later verpak en verkoop. Vir die eerste ses maande word dit in groot tenks met 'n soutwater-oplossing uitgevars, want olywe is opsigself baie bitter. Die soutkonsentrasie word gewissel: Eers 10%, later 6% en dan 8%, waarna die olywe dan vir ses maande “rus”.

Dit word uiteindelik weer in 'n soutoplossing, met 'n bietjie asyn bygevoeg, in plastiekhouers lugdig verpak. Die inhoud van die pakkie word bo-op met 'n lagie olie verseël. “Verbruikers moet onthou dat, solank daardie lagie olie op die olywe behoue bly, die olywe vars en bruikbaar sal wees, al is die pakkie oopgemaak,” gee Rolf 'n wenk. Só kan 'n oopgemaakte pak olywe tot drie maande in 'n koelkas hou.

Die Heisers produseer ook 'n baie hoë kwaliteit olyfolie en Tapanade smeer – laasgenoemde fyngemaakte olywe met olie gemeng en 'n delikatessen as smeer op brood.

Hulle gebruik die sogenaamde koue-pars metode vir hul olyfolie en verkry tussen 13% en 22% olie, bekend as Extra Virgin Olive Oil daaruit. Dié is van hoogstaande gehalte en is al voorheen onder die tien beste produkte ter wêreld bekroon.

Navrae: 062 54 9073 of 081 124 5940

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