Winter jobs

This is the busiest time of year for the olive farmers around here. In December and January the olives are harvested. Pablo’s harvest is finished and taken to the cooperativa, he is now waiting to hear the price per kilo and the total value of his crop. Now the tidying begins. On a fine day, the air is full of wood smoke as the prunings from the olive trees are burned. Line by line, the farmers walk their olive groves, pruning their trees. It is a hard slog, olive farming is not a mechanized form of production. tractor in olive grove 9-2-15The next enemy is weeds, on the hillside opposite us, a tractor ploughed relentlessly up and down each line of olives, tearing up the weeds. The next job will be to fertilize each individual tree. In a month or so, the farmers will be spraying each tree against pests and disease. This is particularly important given the bacterium Xylella fastidiosa which is decimating olive groves in Italy, it causes the foliage to dry out, darkens the wood and eventually kills the trees.

For more on the disease which is affecting Italy’s olive trees, click here for a report in Olive Oil Timesfire burning 9-2-155 to remember
cada – each
la plaga – the pests
la enfermedad – the disease
la bacteria – the bacterium
el follaje – the foliage

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