Posted on November 17th, 2016
Today Monsieur Thédonat came to harvest our olives. He is 84 and still farms several parcels of land around Ménerbes for table grapes, wine grapes, asparagus and potatoes. Several friends have held olive picking days, where everybody helps out but most time is spent at a convivial lunch. We have only two olive trees so our crop is far too small for processing, but Monsieur Thédonat can add our olives to his own.
This year many trees have been attacked by the olive fly causing serious damage across southern Europe. The female fly injects her eggs directly into the fruit and the eggs hatch into maggots which eat the fruit. If affected olives have one hole the maggot is still inside the fruit, but a second hole means the maggot has exited. The damage renders the fruit unsaleable as table olives and raises the acidity level of the oil, lowering the quality. Our trees will be sprayed next year.