I have now discovered how to preserve olives in about 4 different ways, learning from the Greeks, Italians, and of all cultures, the Australians – many recipes are to be found on line. The basic procedure involves water baths for a week and then brine usually for a few months. If any one has interest in this I would be happy to elaborate. At any rate, it is not all that complicated once you get the hang of it. And, just to set the record straight, there is no such thing as a “black olive” tree and a “green olive” tree...The olive starts out green then they turn purplish, then black...then they fall off of the tree, and eventually dry out and harden. You can pick them at any stage, once they are full size and they start to soften just slightly. There are, however, many varieties of olive trees and the olives can be anywhere from a minute ¼ inch in size on a “wild”olive tree to over an inch, like the Kalamata of Greece or the Cerignola of southern Italy. The Greeks on the island will tell you exactly when to pick them, and the guys helping us build the house shared a great recipe with me this year, one in which the olives are picked green and still quite hard and are ready in a week! You crack them with a stone, and put them in heavy brine, changing the water frequently. The olives prepared this way are very pungent and “spicy” in flavor – we liked the results on the batch that we tried.