The Galenia Olive Year
June and July – the trees are pruned removing as much vertical growth and water suckers as possible – opening up the centre of the trees to light and air and also reducing the height of the trees to make it easier to pick the fruit. All prunings have to be removed from the grove and any diseased branches burnt. Well irrigated olives (like the Galenia ones) can produce a prodigious amount of growth within a year.
August, September and October – as the temperature begins to rise the growing begins. This is the time to control the undergrowth that will compete with the trees for water and nutrients, also time to apply fertiliser and to be on the lookout for pests and disease. At this time the olives flower and cross-pollinate. Some olives (e.g. Misson) can self-pollinate but normally olives are pollinated by pollen from different cultivars being carried on the wind – this is why it is normal to plant more than just one cultivar.
November, December – the fruit is thinned out – especially on the trees that are bearing a lot of young fruit. This is laborious work where up to 50% of the immature fruit has to be taken off by hand to allow the remaining fruit to grow and fatten in order to produce quality fruit and quality oil.
January and February - close monitoring is required as the trees and fruit are prone to disease, also clearing of the ground under the trees and praying for nice sunny days but not too hot!
March , April and May – harvest time. The cultivars each ripen at a different time and need to be closely watched for the optimum picking time – a certain shade of green / purple / black indicates this and can vary widely depending on weather conditions. Once picked the olives start to deteriorate. At Galenia we are fortunate to be able to press and process the olives on the estate on the day of picking.