Bruce & Jo-Yee’s Story, Wollundry Grove Olives

August 20, 2021

Wollundry Grove has developed as one of the most significant olive groves in the Wagga Wagga Region. Bruce & Joo Yee have managed the plantation and on-farm oil processing facility for over 10 years.

One of Frank and Zoe’s favourite things to do is visit these guys, seeing the trees change and the olives grow through the seasons. It’s just a 5 minute drive from the My Chef Kitchen to pick up our barrels of local olive oil (so fresh and delicious you can drink it!).

Olive harvest in the Riverina normally begins in April-May and can last for a few months. Olives are machine harvested and are mechanically processed within 24 hours of harvest.

The processing plant consists of 4 main components: 

  • A hammer mill, which crushes the whole fruit including the seed,
  • A malaxer (kneader), which agitates the paste for oil droplets to come together,
  • A centrifuge, which separates the oil from water and pomace waste, and
  • A vertical separator, which removes residue sediment and water.

The oil is then stored in stainless steel vats in an atmosphere-controlled cool room, free from light and air for approximately a month or two for the sediment to settle.

Before reaching the shelves, their oil is certified under the Australian Code of Practice in order to be classified as extra virgin olive oil. 

Bruce & Joo Yee are conscious of their impact on the Earth and are continuously striving to implement sustainability into their farm practices. Aside from upgrading to a processing plant that minimises wastewater, solar panels have also been installed to utilise solar energy.

They also:

  • Reuse pomace and leaf waste from the oil extraction process as a fertiliser which is spread back into the grove,
  • Maintain ground cover within the grove to reduce erosion,
  • Are making conscious efforts to use materials in our packaging that can be easily recycled, 
  • Minimise our use of plastics where possible.

You can even visit.

You can literally taste the freshness of this oil, especially in our new fresh pasta range. So if you’re not addicted to these meals already, head to your nearest store to pick one up!