In the final weeks of this dry, hot summer, we’ve kept a close watch on our olive trees.
Many of you know the story of our harvest last year; Buran winds blew in from Siberia, killing all of our tree’s blossoms. In a single night, our harvest was almost entirely destroyed.
So you can imagine our hopeful monitoring of the weather each night as the summer grew to a close…
We are elated to share that our olive buds survived and have grown into a truly spectacular harvest!
The town’s olive mill, which has been closed since February, has reopened their doors. As they clear away the cobwebs from any ambitious spiders, they are carefully testing that each piece of equipment operates without a hitch.
As we share this with you now, we are beginning the harvest of the Riserva olives (click below to watch Camillo's video from the groves!).
Why do we start our harvest in October?
We will be among the first farmers to bring olives to the mill to be pressed!
By harvesting our olives early in the season (first the Riserva and then a few weeks later the Classico) the olives’ concentration of health benefits, including their antioxidants and polyphenols, will be at their peak. Harvesting early also gives the extra virgin olive oil a brighter, spicier, and more herbaceous flavor.
However, because the olives are still small, harvesting early also means we can only extract a small amount of oil.
This is why most bigger olive oil companies will wait until as late as January or even February to harvest and press their olives. They want to ensure the olives are at maximum size and thus they can press as much oil as possible from them.
Of course at this point, the olive oil will have greatly reduced health benefits and only a hint of exquisite extra virgin olive oil flavor. But the large size of the olives allows them to make triple the amount of oil from the same tree.
Our farmers have too much love for the land, the olives, and our community to give you an olive oil that is anything less than spectacular!
Camillo and farmer Maurizio surveying the Giardinetto Grove.
Thank you for being a part of Sabina's farming community!
As our farmers prepare to press the olives, we are so grateful to our Libellula family – with a special thank you to our Grove Adopters.
With skyrocketing energy prices, the cost to operate the olive mills has doubled. Many in the area are forgoing harvesting their olives this year because they are not able to afford to have them pressed.
We have been approached by farmers asking if they can join our collective, enabling them to harvest and press their family's olives.
Whenever we are forced to say no, it is heartbreaking.
But we are so happy to be able to partner with the farmers that we do now, and can't wait for the day that we can welcome more of Italy's farmers into the Libellula family!
If you are not yet an Olive Grove Adopter, we welcome you to join this special part of the Libellula family.
With every box of extra virgin olive oil you will be nourishing and supporting a family farmer in Sabina.
Julia & Camillo