Growing olives        
  [available also in italian]

Olive oil is a natural product, obtained by simply squeezing the olive, and its characteristics are principally
influenced both by the pedoclimatic conditions and also by the cultivar (type of olive) used in production. Olive
trees like a temperate climate with a low temperature range. The soil must be calcareous with good draining.
The Mediterranean climate is thus ideal, with mild winters, and summers that are not too wet. Hitherto about
400 cultivars are known. Among the best known that are used in Italy are the Leccino, Frantoio, Moraiolo,
Coratina, Nocellara, Canino and Carolea. Other cultivars, such as the Pendolino, are employed only as
impollinators. The fruit of the tree, the olive, also called the "drupe", is formed of the "epicarp" or skin, by the
"mesocarp" or flesh, and by the "endocarp" or stone, which contains the seed. The olive fruit begins to ripen
in mid-October and continues up until the end of November, passing from green to red to end up as deep
purple. The harvesting of the olives is the most critical phase for obtaining good oil. In the past, harvesting was
carried out entirely by hand (called in Italian the "brucatura" or hand picking). Today, thanks to the new
technologies available, harvesting has been mechanised, allowing considerable time to be saved from picking
to crushing, and this is a fact which also has a positive effect on the quality of the oil.

huile d'olive  culture bio arbres etiquettes histoire culture production santé