The harvest of Taggiasca olives is conducted exclusively by hand. This is because the landscape, a naturally hilly terrain, has led to cultivation on terraces characteristic of the area, making it impossible to use large machinery.
Very often, however, use is made of small battery operated or compressed-air beaters in place of the old, long wooden sticks.
Nets are strategically layed out under the trees before harvest to collect the falling olives.
In Liguria, we say that the olives are 'beaten' if they are made to fall from the tree and 'netted' if they are allowed to fall naturally (as a result of the wind or because they have reached full maturity) and then collected from the nets every few days. In the latter case, the nets are not layed directly on the ground but suspended under the trees.
Quality oil, however, can only be made from 'beaten' olives, for two reasons. Firstly, if the olive remains in the net for a few days instead of being removed immediately, it undergoes a considerable amount of deterioration which results in an increasing amount of acidity in the oil produced. Secondly, it is very unlikely that a healthy olive will fall on its own from the tree unless, of course, it is completely ripe.
It, therefore, goes without saying that for all our extra virgin oils, we use only 'beaten' olives.