Before becoming The Oil Merchant, Charles was a farmer and knows as well as anyone that worry is part of a farmer's DNA. They worry about the government rules and regulations, they worry about thefts and vandalism, and now, they worry about the weather. Our farmers, our olive oil producers, are well aware that their trees are suffering from the incredible temperatures and lack of rain in southern Europe, and they are well aware how these conditions can be the cause of wildfires. We feel for farmers, not just our producers, but all farmers, who are affected, and derive comfort from those that show that other part of a farmer's DNA, optimism.
This is what Cristina, producer of Lia, recently wrote to us:
"Despite winning a gold award in the renowned EVO IOC Italy competition, I believe that our biggest achievement this year has been the work in the olive grove. It’s important to listen to nature. Olive tree cultivation is the very foundation of our diet and life, and as such deserves to be honoured. That's why at LIA we produce your extra virgin olive oil by combining modern-day techniques with ancestral knowledge based on the rhythms of nature. We need to produce and consume sensibly and wisely, conserving natural resources as much as possible. All these years of meticulous work to conserve the soil and the biodiversity of the the grove is having so many beneficial results during these hot summer days.
The olive groves and the environment where they are grown make up an ecosystem where numerous species of all types coexist. All these years we have tried to develop our environmental and permaculture so that we can preserve the ecosystem. We are surprised when we read Studies, some being from the FAO (the state of the world’s biodiversity for food and agriculture, 2019), that have determined that olive plantations can support up to 200 wild plant species, 90 vertebrates and 160 invertebrates species per hectare. Isn’t it amazing!?
A few days ago I was walking with Constantinos in the grove, checking the eco traps we put in in order to control the flies - by the way, the olives are super healthy! It was early in the morning and we saw a big turtle with small babies. They have their nest under an olive tree with a big trunk where a wild blackberry bush has grown. In the beginning of the Spring we saw these wild blackberries growing under some trees. The neighbour said that we should spray them because they will destroy the harvesting nets. But we kept them, and now of course we have a small jar of blackberry jam and a nest. I love it and I felt so lucky because turtles symbolise longevity and I thought it was a good omen.
I am not sure if you get the idea of what I am trying to say, but at the end of the day it is not only important to produce high quality olive oil with a beautiful design, but it is also important to maintain these treasures of our land for the future generations, and to educate more and more people in environmentally conscious living."