Prior to the setback of Paul’s heart problem, we had been making good progress on the olive front. Last year we managed to get a good section of the olive grove pruned, and earlier this year Paul managed to prune another good portion near to the house.
Paul had also started to tackle the large task of strimming our grounds – Due to the recent abundant rainfalls the weeds and grasses had grown waist high. However Paul’s illness brought such work to a halt which has really frustrated Paul.
Thanks to a very, kind donation to the Olive funds from Dad and Big Sister Annie, we have been able to enlist the help of Gregorio, Pasquale’s nephew.
Can’t thank you enough Dad and Annie for you continued help and support in our Italian Adventure!!! It means such a lot to us and has put Paul’s worries and frustrations to rest.
Gregorio is an expert olive cultivator and he and his team have done a great deal of pruning over 100 trees down on the lower part of the grove, and also they have cleared up all the prunings and put the firewood to one side. This is excellent, as once again we will have a good supply of wood for next winter. There has been an inforced pause in the work, due to the fact that there is now a summer ban in place on the burning of olive clippings due to the danger of brush fires. Hopefully we will be able to continue with some pruning in the Autumn.
So, another big summer worry is fire, especially after our inferno here last September. There has already been one big fire this year on Monte Marano which overlooks “Tre Cancelle”.
Gregorio has also been to do some strimming to ensure we have our recommended fire break and to make it easier for guests to wander down into the groves. He came with his tractor and grass cutter last Saturday and managed to get pretty much all of the large terraces on the top half of the land mowed, and then his men came for another day to strim the less accessible terraces. So all in all the groves are looking much more tidy. The downside is that Gregorio likes to start work at 5 am – so we’ve had a couple of very early starts !!!
The locals freely use herbicides, to keep the grass down, but we do not want to go down this route. We really need to get some sheep to control the growth naturally. We really would like some chickens too. Paul wants some pigs, free range amongst the holm oaks. I’d still really like a donkey !!! Gregorio says that in the Autumn he will help us begin our little small- holding. We’ll see !!!
We also hope to work together with Gregorio to find a market for Itri (Gaeta) olives and our special Extra Virgin Olive Oil abroad, so we will have to keep focusing on this aim.
Onward ever onward !!! Avanti Sempre Avanti !!!