This is the fall and winter of no olives. We travel from our home in California to our farm in Provence to pick our olives and have them made into oil. You probably know that my husband is French and 2 of my 3 children were also born in France. Niko, the one born in California lives here with his family.
Our Mas is on 25 acres and we have about 700 olive trees but they are all different ages and sizes. As of last summer, it looked like the harvest would be excellent. What a surprise when we arrived and there were no olives to pick.
This year the fly that lays its eggs in olives attacked with a vengeance. Not only did France’s harvest suffer but the harvest in Italy and Spain suffered too. The reason for this was the “stupid” olive fly and olive moth that resulted from the warm spring temperatures, lots of rain and a cool summer. Bummer!Our trees looked just like this.
Olive growers suffered a 70% – 100% loss. Don’t expect inexpensive olive oil this year. It may also be of a lower quality. In all three countries many olive oil presses did not even open.
I drove over to the Mas des Barres just outside of Maussane les Alpilles on yesterday and asked them how their harvest was. The owner showed me a very few bottles of oil and said he would be lucky if his supply lasts until February. The same is true at 2 other presses; Le Moulin de Bédarrides in Fontveille and Le Moulin Jean-Marie Cornille in Maussane.
Now I am wondering what we will need to do to kill all the larva in the soil. All the sick olives fell under the trees. At the Moulin de Bédarrides, they said something about spraying the ground with copper and then this winter, turning over the soil. I will get more information.
I apologize to all of customers, friends and family, but you will have to look elsewhere for your olive oil fix.