Summer is a quiet period for olive farmers, particularly the organic sort. The trees have been pruned and the grass mown, the fruit has set, so since we are not irrigating or spraying our trees, the only thing to do now is wait. Wait, and hope for the right conditions for the tiny, hard green olives to develop into fat, oil-rich fruit.
The risks (pests, weather) now are beyond our control – the freak hailstorm that decimated vineyards in Burgandy, France this week was a reminder that farmers are always vulnerable to nature.
Olive trees are generally alternate or biennial bearing, so our trees have developed fruit in the opposite pattern to last year. Some trees are dripping in olives, while others are bare, but overall it should be a good harvest if all the fruit develops. Spring was long and wet this year, delaying the flowering of the trees and setting of the fruit, so the local consensus is that the harvest will be a little late this year – probably starting in November rather than late October.