Bad Olive News

An abundant olive crop at Trueheart Vineyards in Sonoma, California

Our olive crop was incredibly abundant this year…

I just posted about how excited I was that our olive harvest was HUGE and I was so excited about our first ever harvest. Then we got the bad news.

Our beautiful olives are infested with the olive fruit fly. The entire crop is completely lost.

The fruit fly was introduced and invaded California around 1998, initially through Los Angeles, but it is now found throughout the state. Since then, all olive trees need to be treated for the fly. We did, and we still lost our crop. One of the many issues is that the flies travel over a six mile radius and even if we treat our trees, everyone in the area must treat theirs as well to keep ours safe from infestation.

I am so disappointed. Dear neighbors of ours from across the street pressed their olives last year and the oil was so fresh and delicious, it pure liquid gold. I was looking forward to having our own, labeling it under Trueheart, giving it as gifts to friends and family and also to using it in my own kitchen.

Where do we go from here? First, we have to pick all the olives off the trees. That includes getting all the olives that have already fallen off the ground, as they pupate in the soil under the trees and then come out again next spring. Yuk. Next, we are going to have our trees pruned. We’ve never pruned them and that may have made our trees more vulnerable to the fly, which thrives in dark places with poor ventilation. We are going to start even earlier next year with treating the trees, and in the meantime, I’m hoping to attend some classes on caring for olive trees so I am more informed.

In addition to potentially giving us wonderful olive oil, and adding beauty to our landscaping, all the kids in our lives love climbing them. Aren’t these so sweet?

Kids love climbing our olive trees at Trueheart Vineyards in Sonoma, CA.

Our niece climbing an olive tree in ’07.

Kids climbing our olive trees.

Two of our grandsons scaling one of our trees in September.

Our huge olive trees.

You can see how huge our trees are. Our grandson is nearly hidden. Can you see him?

Good thing I’m not a real farmer. I’d probably starve. We’re learning as we go, and this has definitely been a learning experience.

What have you been learning about lately?

A few links from around the web I hope you enjoy:

Beautiful Perugia, Italy.

World Series superstar pitcher Madison Bumgarner, or MadBum.

These custardy apple squares look easy and delicious.

Creating meaning as we age.

15 fun facts about “When Harry Met Sally”

The Japanese Art of Decluttering.  I need help!!

P.S. Hope the rest of your weekend is sweet.

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