This summer has been extremely dry, with no significant rain from mid May to August.
We have been able to irrigate only two plots, with a total area of approximately 2 hectares, where we have poured, throughout the whole summer, about 1 940 cubic metres of water. The water is sourced from wells which are owned by cooperatives of farmers. As a consequence of the soluble limestone substrate, the aquifer lays at a depth of 500 to 700 metres underground.
The rest of our olive groves, covering approximately 3 hectares, have not been irrigated because no wells are available or because the irrigation systems are damaged. The latter is the case for a plot covering approximately 1 hectare in an area named "Jazzo De Cesare", where we have not been able to irrigate because our irrigation systems needed a heavy investment to be restored.
However, despite the drought, it looks like a miracle to see how olive trees and fruit trees are surviving and bearing some fruit.
Here you can see a fig tree, a plum tree and olive trees alive and bearing fruit despite the severe drought.
Plums getting ripe. Drought is affecting their size.
Olives slowly growing. Olive weight and oil content will be heavily affected by the drought.
Production of early summer figs has been quite low and fruit size has been affected.
Picking figs and removing weeds. We have mixed our figs with unrefined raw cane sugar (panela) and raw cacao and made an exceptionally tasty jam. We will show it in another post. The jam will be sent as a present in addition to olive oil orders.
We have been spreading caprifig (a sort of wild figs) in order to enable edible fig pollination, which is necessary for the production of figs in late summer-autumn.
In early summer, a cicada larva, after spending years underground, emerges from the soil, climbs up a tree. After resting for a few hours, the adult breaks through its shell, dries out at the sunshine, and eventually flies away to spend a few weeks of adulthood. The shells can be found on the trees throughout summer.
All pictures shown in this post were taken in mid July. Sorry for the late update!