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  • Writer's pictureThomas Gubler

My olive oil is organic

Since I have without exception bought olive groves already abandoned by their owners, my olive oil has been of organic quality since the first harvest in 2017. Now, after three years of transition, it is officially so; my olive-growing farm has been certified organic in May 2021.

From the blossoming at the end of May to the harvesting of the olives in November, it takes a lot of luck: since the blossoming already varies from year to year, unsuitable weather during the blossoming or shortly afterwards can greatly reduce the number of growing olives. Last year, i.e. in 2020, the year started promisingly, very many blossoms, good climate, but then a strong hailstorm followed at the beginning of September, which knocked about one fifth of the olives to the ground together with many leaves. The olives remaining on the tree, actually still ripening towards a satisfactory harvest, were subsequently successively reduced by a heavy infestation of the olive fruit fly, the dreaded little pest fly known here simply as "Mosca". In November, only a few olives were left hanging in the trees. Since each tree required the same amount of work to lay out the nets and harvest only about a quarter of a harass (about 5 kg) instead of a whole harass (about 20 kg) or sometimes two harasses, the production costs for one litre of olive oil were more than twice as high.

Thus, the olive oil yield is subject to strong fluctuations from year to year; after the very good year 2017, which was the best year until 2020, there was nothing at all to harvest in the following year 2018. The pest infestation by the "Mosca" was so severe due to a wet and relatively too cool August that not a single olive remained on the tree until November. The olive oil presses in the whole region remained closed. No one had a harvest, but that was little consolation.

But when the green gold flows into the containers late in the evening after a successful harvest day, the heart rejoices!

Now I am looking forward to the olive year 2021


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