This year’s olive harvest

The mild winter meant that the olives flowered early this spring.  I thought very early on that we would need to harvest much earlier than usual; however the mills are slow to respond to variations in the people’s needs.  Rain during summer isn’t what olives want, the trees have put on a huge amount of foliage; the vast majority of which will need to be pruned to allow light and air into the trees next year.  Fortunately our olives have always been unaffected by damage from the olive fly (Bactrocera oleae); I’m not entirely sure why as I never treat the trees nor hang pheromone traps.  This year however, due possibly to the damp conditions and maybe compounded by the congested foliage a lot of the olives showed the tell-tale exit hole of the larvae, feeling hopeful that at least some of the crop was unaffected we harvested this weekend.

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The Slope on Thursday – a definite autumnal feel to the day

The weather changed significantly this week; not that it was cold, at 10.30 pm on Monday evening the temperature was registering 20° C.  These warm nights are one reason (the main reason) why we don’t have very much autumn colour in my area.  It is the shock of the fluctuating temperatures that causes most leaves to change to the red, oranges, purples and yellows that we associate with autumn; here the difference between day and night doesn’t change so much until January or February by which time the leaves have just turned a boring crispy brown and fallen.  Continue reading