Expecting the new harvest: joyful anticipation of the results of the whole year’s effort

Our olive trees are entering the final phase of the growing season: in the next few weeks, the beautifully shaped fruits will ripen just enough for the usual early harvest, which we plan to start in the 12 hectares of our olive groves on the second weekend in October. The year was not very kind to us, the summer drought took its toll, so the crop is a little smaller than expected, but it will definitely be better than last year, that is, our olives have a little more fruit than last year. Until the time of harvest, anything can happen, if there is more rain, the fruits may swell from water, but the quantity and quality of the oil in them will not change, so we expect that this year’s harvest will produce Červar oil of the highest quality.

In our olive groves on 12 hectares, 3000 olive trees grow, of which a thousand are young trees, planted last year, which are not yet in fruit and we will not harvest them this fall. From 2000 older trees of the varieties Leccino, Picholine, Buža, Istrian Bjelica, Žižolera, Frantoio and Rosulja, we expect to get between three and four thousand litres of oil for the four already quite well-known Červar labels of extra-virgin olive oils. These are the labels of Bianchera from Istrian Bjelica, Coratina and Žižolera from the varieties of the same name and the blend or the mixed oil San Servolo, which got its name from the location where our olive trees were planted, and it combines the varieties of Buža, Rosignola, Leccino, Pendolino and Picholine. .

We have already said that this summer was marked by an intense drought, which had a rather unfavourable effect on olives and their harvest. The Leccino variety felt the drought and other disasters during the growing season the most, the Buža and Istrian Bjelica varieties also had problems and to our surprise but also great satisfaction, the Coratina variety gives us better and better results year after year, regardless of the weather conditions.

Good olive oil is created already in the olive grove, just as good wine is created already in the vineyard and in order for the olive tree to give the best that it can give in such and such a climatic year, we must also help it. A whole series of mandatory works in the olive grove take place during the year between two harvests. Immediately after harvesting, olives should be treated in order to more effectively heal damage caused during harvesting. Several times a year, the soil under the olive trees needs to be cultivated or milled, in a circle with a diameter of two meters with the trunk in the centre, while the rest of the space between the trees, spaced 7-8 meters apart, remains grassed.

One of the most important tasks in the olive grove is spring pruning, which gives the productive branches more space to absorb more sun, and non-productive branches are removed so that they do not rob the productive ones of water and nutrients. Throughout the summer, olives should be treated several times against the most common pests and diseases such as olive moth, olive fly and peacock eye. All this is necessary in order to welcome the harvest time with healthy olives and quality fruits. If, on top of that, we equip ourselves well technically and equip ourselves with a sufficient number of pickers, in the last days of September and the first days of October, we can calmly observe how our olives slowly start to change colour and joyfully await the moment when nature will give us the signal to start picking them.