For the first time in our lives we harvested olives. Four about four hours we were busy spreading nets, thrashing the upper parts of the trees with sticks and picking. A very laborious work in order to gather – thanks to the temporary help of our German neighbours – about 16 kilos of olives, originating from the 13 trees on our groundpiece.
Most of the olives were unluckily tarnished by some kind of olive-fly. This year was a disaster for the olive culture in most parts of the Merula Valley. Those farmers who don’t use insecticides – they are forced to do so by legislation; otherwise they loose their ,,appellazione controllata’’ for their oil -, saw their olives for more than the half affected by the fly. Brown spots on the green olives are the sign that the olives are sick and last month already many premature olives were falling on the ground. Most farmers didn’t even spread their nets, this year.
When the olives are affected you cannot put them on water and salt, so we were forced to ,,sell’’ our small harvest to the ,,frantoio’’. Simone Rossi estimated that we had about 16 kilo, good voor 2.5 till 3 kilo of oil. If you know that olive oil is about 10% lighter than water, we are 3 liters of olive oil richer…
A weblink to Rossi’s frantoio: