THE OLIVE GROVE
Our olive grove is in eastern Peloponnese, in the area of the village Kiveri which is located near Mycenae and the cities of Argos and Nafplio. In this region, the cultivation of the olive tree has always been a dominant activity, however its beginning is lost in the depths of time.
In 1991, our family decided to revive and modernise a centuries-old project by cultivating the family olive tree yard.
This modern form of operation was based on the respect of the environment and the rules of sustainability. The goal wasn’t just the cultivation of the olive, but also the production and promotion of new olive products. This was done not just with the awareness of a simple farmer, but with that of a food producer.
Nowadays, the main variety that we are cultivating is an olive variety known as “Damaskinoelia” or “Gaidourelia”. This is a transformation of the old olive grove that took place by planting new trees and, by changing the variety of old trees that belonged to the Agouromanako and Megaritiki varieties.
In general, we follow rules of Good Agricultural Practice within an Integrated Farming System. This is a dynamic system of responsible and reliable farming that produces safe quality food "Erga Omnes” (towards all), with the minimal possible adverse effects on the environment. We apply drip irrigation and we monitor the condition of the trees and the soil systematically, by regular checks, as well as special laboratory tests.
The harvest begins in October and is usually completed by the end of January of the following year. Its duration is long because, the preparation of each commercial type of olive requires a specific stage of maturation of the fruit.
Choosing this particular stage is not an easy task because the maturation progresses over time and it is usually uneven on the same tree. Often the same tree needs to be harvested 2 and 3 times during the same season. Selection of the proper fruits is meticulously done by hands.
This fact constitutes one of the greatest difficulties in making Natural Olive and increases the time, risk and cost significantly.
NATURAL (UNTREATED) AND TREATED OLIVE
It is necessary to explain the term “Natural Olive” in order to inform the consumer. This term is clearly defined by the international standards of the table olive’s commercial preparations (International Olive Oil Council, COI/OT/NC no.1).
Natural or Untreated olives: During the preparation of these olives, no alkaline solutions (NaOH, caustic soda) have been used.
Treated olives: Olives that have undergone alkaline treatment.
With the use of the caustic soda, the bitterness of the olive is removed in a few hours. In contrast, with the natural preparation it takes several months to eliminate the bitterness. Additionally, there are some commercial types where the olives are darkened from green to black, with the use of caustic soda and other means.
The alkaline treatment methods reduce the nutritional value and alter the natural texture and taste of the olive. This is why our philosophy is to abolish these easy and fast, foreign methods and insist on the Greek traditional methods, even if they are more time consuming and expensive.