Olive growth and stone formation.
We reach the month of June, the olive is growing, and at the end of the month the stone is formed. The seed plays an important role in the quality of the Extra Virgin Olive Oil: a large part of its phenolic content is found in it.
As far as the weather is concerned, the olive groves are still enduring the drought that accompanies us; but we should also mention that, so far this summer, the temperatures have not been too high and aggressive due to their succession of days. On the contrary, up to the day I am writing these words, we have endured 3 or 4 days of high temperatures. The other days have been of rather moderate temperatures, which helps the olive tree to cope with the situation it is going through.
At the beginning of July it can already be observed that the olive has its stone formed and hardened.
By making a circular cut in the flesh of the fruit, it is possible to appreciate the appearance of the stone with its formed structure.
The fruit pulp is also finishing to form, and lipogenesis, or the creation of oil in the olive, will soon begin. All these developments will vary depending on whether the olive grove is rainfed or irrigated, and even on the area where it is located. This is also the time to subject the olive grove and its fruit to relative stress, in order to subsequently obtain EVOO with a high antioxidant content. This, in the case of irrigated olive groves; in the case of unirrigated olive groves, stress is more than guaranteed.
Although the olive grove is holding up quite well under the circumstances (it is not yet looking bad), we will see if its appearance is maintained as the remaining days of summer go by. The olive groves of Mergaoliva, for the most part, are tended with sustainable irrigation systems, using underground micro-irrigation, thus looking after the olive tree but also for this precious and increasingly scarce resource that is WATER.
Due to CLIMATE CHANGE, which we often find difficult to accept, we have to assume that the concern for water is becoming more and more evident every day. Rainfall is increasingly scarce, and therefore the accumulation of water in the reservoirs is more difficult. Perhaps sooner rather than later, if the situation is not reversed, we will see irrigated olive groves forcibly converted to rainfed olive groves. Having said that, I cannot understand that there are still areas where the administration has given permission to irrigate by flooding, wasting enormous quantities of the precious liquid, and that, on the other hand, no means are being put in place to improve irrigation systems and take advantage of water which is becoming more precious and precarious by the day. However, it must also be said that it is up to the conscience of each and every one of us to look after this resource. I appeal from here for responsibility in the use of WATER.
Each variety of olive shows its different development and peculiarities in its morphology. In this case it is the hojiblanca variety, which shows a slightly larger fruit size than the picual variety. The small spots and slightly rounder shape give it away. From this variety we obtain one of our types of Extra Virgin Olive Oil, called CENIT Hojiblanca. Its fruity nuances on the nose are more exuberant than those perceived in the picual variety, which nevertheless stands out for its potency on the palate..
Little by little we are approaching the new harvesting and milling season.
One more year, in Mergaoliva, we will try to get the best of these fruits so well cared for throughout the year, and thus offer an Extra Virgin Olive Oil for the most demanding with the juice of the olive.
Juan José Mercado Gavilán.
Lahiguera a 13 de julio de 2021.