It’s that time of the year! It became a tradition and we hope for a very long time to make the Olive Harvest a family harvest. After a lot of doubts with the dry and very hot summer of Catalunya, we are so happy to share with you a very abundant harvest: The Viggo’s harvest! The olive oil is tested extra virgin by the press and it tastes incredible!
Last year we did not have any olives unfortunately, but instead it gave us time to plant trees, thousands of trees! A lot we planted in what is becoming Viggo's foodforest, what was a field full of just olive trees. A variety of 25 trees and bushes, ranging from fruit (Fig, Apple, Pear) trees to small bushes and vegetables (Corn, Kale, Watermelon, Pumpkin) designed according to Syntropic Farming principles to help the regeneration of the soil while growing high quality food.
These newly planted trees & bushes are in rows between the olive trees, and as they are mostly still baby trees they need irrigation to survive the first harsh summers. This extra water has helped the closeby olive trees through the drought, were otherwise they probably would not have produced olives. All of Spain and Mediterranean countries are struggling this and past year and the production has strongly reduced. Over time, the high diversity of plants will increase the diversity of soil life, provide more shade for the soil to reduce its temperature in summer and improve the natural pest management. All of this will improve the quality of soil and increase the resilience of the olive trees, which you will taste in the quality of olive oil and it will become even healthier as well. The health of our bodies depend on the health of our food, which depend on the health of the soils they grow in.
So 2 years after our last harvest, which we called 'Paolo's harvest' as we rushed to the hospital straight from the olive mill to give birth to Paolo, we now have 'Viggo's harvest' extra virgin olive oil from Viggo's foodforest. With an amazing team of close family and WWOOF-ers we harvested over 1,300KG by hand, a record harvest!
The olives have been harvested early and are mostly green, compared to more black olives which are riper/more mature. Green olives have a higher content of antioxidants and polyphenol (boosting digestion and brain health), and provide a stronger taste in olive oil. They are harvested earlier, and this is sometimes a struggle as most olive mills only open at a certain time when most farmers harvest. This year we had to drive to a olive mill further than where we went the previous times because it wasn't open yet. Also the weather has caused the olives to be ready to harvest weeks earlier compared to previous years.
We harvest the olives by hand, going into the trees by ladders or climbing with hand rakes to get the olives from the branches, dropping them onto nets. Once the tree is harvested, we empty the olives into crates of about 20-25kg per crate, and those crates we bring to the mill. We don't put them in bigger crates or bags to prevent the weight to press other olives, and make sure the crates have little holes to aerate the olives preventing 'bad' fungi to spread or the olives to already ferment before we press them.
A lot of care and love has gone into taking care of the trees and the harvest. We absolutely love the taste of the oil and we hope you will enjoy the oil as much as we do. Note that we are a small farm and our production is limited, so don't wait too long:) This is a perfect gift to loved ones, a green and healthy present, for example for the festive season. The bottles are available on our webshop and come in 3 sizes (also packages available in combination with almonds):
At the end of the harvest, we planted a citrus tree to celebrate what we have received from mother nature and to give back. Our harvest has become a family tradition to come together, work in the orchard together and to spend some good time together while enjoying 'home' grown food. This year was extra special to do this together after some challenges faces in the family. We are so grateful for these moments together, thank you for coming over and working hard with us!
Soon we will share a general update on the farm, all the progress and what has happened in this crazy year. Keep an eye out on our socials and your mailbox if you have subscribed to our newsletter.
Carlo, Coralie, Paolo
Maathai, Nelson & Vandana