Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Whether the weather

The weather (or climate? Apparently we have take care to differentiate!) seems all a mess. The temperature today is 5deg above the norm and yet we are forecast frost and snow by the end of the week. A fellow garden blogger in South Texas reported heavy snow yesterday. What's going on?
Earlier in the year we had a terribly hot May which damaged the olive blossom. We have five or six types of olive tree here - Frantoio, Leccino, Moraiolo and so on. But they all suffered from the early heatwave and their flowers fell to the ground without setting fruit. One variety which is unique to this area though is Dolce Agogia and this flowers and fruits earlier than all the others. As a result we had Dolce olives but nothing else. No complaints - this olive has the lowest acidity possible and the yield at the mill was high (18%) which meant we got 100 litres of oil even though we only harvested a few of our 200 trees.
By the way, in Italy there are around 500 different types of olive and there are regional specialities reflecting differences in climate (or weather?) and soil. However it is quite difficult to tell them apart unless the trees have ripe fruit on them - all those narrow silvery leaves look the same to me! In our neighbourhood there is a local initiative to promote the organic production of Dolce Agogia olives as a premium product since its oil has such special characteristics.
Do you recall this little ditty?
"Whether the weather is cold, whether the weather is hot, whatever the weather we'll weather the weather, whether we like it or not."

1 comment:

Jana said...

Dear Yvonne, thank you for your comment and to your question: climate in the Czech Republic is continental and I live in a warmer area that looks a bit similar to yours - wet winters and hot summers, but surely not so hot as yours. I think the key term for gardening is microclimate - supported with hedges or fences to protect tender plants against cold winds or sharp winter sun. It is also important whether you live on the hill or lower - the soil changes. Roses grown in our country are mostly grafted on canina that is tough, deep rooting understock. This is important as well, but I am trying roses from other European nurseries, too, and publishing my results. I am also a seller, you can ask on my email. To tell the truth I would like to have the same possibility to move some mature olive tree as you, it is just wonderful and olives are so beautiful!