One of the most important procedures in the olive grove is pruning, where we use traditional methods, which are the safest for proper cultivation. We open the interior of the trees to let light through, however not to a great extent since burns can occur. We remove the exhausted and dry branches, the old lateral branches and anything else that does not provide nothing to the tree. Right afterwards we place natural materials, friendly to the olive tree, on the cuts in order to protect the tree from infections.
Also, a very important process that many olive oil producers do not pay attention to are the chemical analyses. Every two or three years we conduct soil analysis and leaves diagnostic analysis every year (chemical analysis of the olive tree leaves). Our aim is to check the soil composition as well as the nutrients of the olive tree, so in case of deficiencies or surpluses, they can be regulated with the appropriate elements as defined by the science of agronomy.
Equally important is the removal of weeds, by ploughing the soil which is done by mechanical means (tractor), as well as the fight against the main enemy of the olive tree, the olive fruit fly (a problem which we address mainly during the summer). The olive fruit fly is an insect that pierces the fruit to lay its eggs, resulting in the oxidisation of the fruit and thus affecting the quality of the final product. The measures we take to eradicate it are totally organic and friendly to the olive tree and the environment, since we basically use traps containing pheromones.
The harvest begins at the end of October and can last two months. In the first weeks of the harvest we produce the so called agoureleo (olive oil from unripe fruits) from the early-season olive trees. This olive oil has high levels of phenols and antioxidants that contribute not only to the health and longevity of the consumer but also to the protection of the product from oxidation, thus keeping all its nutrients for a longer period.
The golden rule we use in order to produce quality olive oil is to harvest the fruits with care in order to avoid injury of their outer layer. Their collection is carried out when the colour of the fruit begins to turn from green to purple. At that point the lipids and volatile components of the produced olive oil are at their best level, as well as the phenols which are at very high levels.
Finally, we transport the olive fruits to our olive mill in plastic containers (suitable for food) with holes on their side walls for ventilation, in order to prevent the increase of the olives’ temperature and the transmission of negative organoleptic characteristics (odour and taste) in the produced olive oil. Oil extraction is carried out within 12 hours.