As summer finally begins to release us from its oven-like grip, we can see that the upcoming harvest should be a good one. Already the Shimlali olives, which always ripen early, are beginning to turn from green to purple. The Barnea and Nabali trees are laden with fruit. In fact, some branches have snapped under the weight of the olives.
Still lots to do, keeping the trees weeded and watered. Some of the trees still need to have the suckers pruned from the base of the trees. Can't wait for the harvest to begin in mid-late October.
A new section of trees were planted over the past 3 years. This year we added the final 45 trees, which were donated by Kibbutz Gezer members, both past and present, in honor of Laura Denola. Laura was a member of Gezer in its early years, and passed away last year.
The trees are of the Picholine variety, which originates in Southern France. I think it will add a nice flavor to the world renowned Gezer olive oil blend.
We usually don't plant trees until the fall, but this coming year is a Shmita year. This falls every 7th year, when the land is left fallow according to Jewish law. Since our oil is kosher, that means no planting trees. So we got them planted a month before the new Jewish year begins in late September. I hope the heat isn't too tough on them. I have to keep them watered every few days until it cools off and the rains (hopefully) arrive.
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I'm Dani Livney, a member of Kibbutz Gezer, and the manager of the Gezer olives. I love it! I also work as a lawyer, focusing on environmental projects and promoting environmental empowerment and education.