Have they ever explained to you the phenological stages that the olive tree goes through throughout its annual cycle? The knowledge and monitoring of these stages in the Armónico estates is essential to obtain the best Extra Virgin Olive Oil.
From the bud to the shoots
With the arrival of the end of winter , the budding process of the buds begins . When they wake up and start their growth, they will form buds . These shoots can be of two types: vegetative shoots or flower shoots . The former will become new stems with leaves and new buds, guaranteeing a new cycle; the latter are responsible for the reproduction of the olive tree in the next phase, giving rise to flowers, also called rapas, from which the fruits will later sprout.
The buds are very sensitive to low temperatures. It is in spring that they grow fastest, they stop in summer and will grow again in autumn.
From the buds to the flower
May is approaching and the moment of fertilization , which will provide the new olives. The olive tree is a sexually reproducing plant and has some hermaphroditic flowers , that is, they have both manifest sexes and can give rise to a new fruit and other male flowers , which only release their pollen to fertilize other flowers.
The olive groves are dyed white, beautiful and light, lasting just 10 days, although from the time the first flower opens to the last it can take more than three weeks.
And it is that at this time, all olive trees show their flowers to be fertilized! Curiously, the pollen of the male flowers can fertilize the flowers of olive trees located hundreds of kilometers away and rarely fertilizes the flowers of the olive tree itself. In addition, it is estimated that only one or two percent of the flowers of the olive tree are fertilized.
The final production of the olive tree will largely depend on the phase of the olive tree in flower.
From the flower to the olive
We enter the summer , the petals come off their flowers once fertilized and the new olives are about to grow. This phase, called fruit setting, is followed by a natural fall of part of the new fruits. The olive tree makes its own selection and eliminates the fruits that it will not be able to feed, thus ensuring the balance between its survival and its reproduction.
The olive tree must withstand the inclemencies of a hot and dry climate, having to feed its fruits and, in turn, grow new shoots so that they flower the following year. Summer is harsh and the olive tree stops its activity for most of the day, being active in the early and late hours of the day, when temperatures drop. The fruits maintain an intense green color at this time, almost at their final size until ripening. It is in summer when the growth of the olive takes place , it is in full adolescence! Subsequently, the hardening of the bone occurs , a moment that marks the end of the curdling.
At Armónico we take all the care that the olive tree needs at this stage and we are very careful that it does not fall victim to any plague. Only the best care can achieve an olive with ideal properties, capable of producing the best Extra Virgin Olive Oil, our Harmonic oil .
The olive, from green to purple
With the end of summer comes veraison : the fruit changes color. Each variety of olive ripens at different times. In general, the olive will go from green to yellow, from this to purple and finally turns black, when it has reached its maximum degree of maturity.
The olive, from purple to black
It is in autumn when maturation arrives , after the veraison phase. And this is where we find another of the keys to obtaining the best Extra Virgin Olive Oil: choosing the ideal harvest time .
With the advance of maturation, the olive comes off more easily and the oils can evolve to less bitter and pungent. A delay in the time of harvesting can lead to the oxidation of the fruit and a decrease in its quality, the risk of the olive freezing and losing its properties, and a lower production in the following year because the olive tree has had the harvest for a long time on its cups, depleting the reserve of nutrients to feed its fruit.
The olive, from the olive tree to the mill
The 2021/2022 harvest of Armónico includes two differentiated extra virgin olive oils: Armónico Hojiblanca - Early Harvest and Armónico Selección .
Both EVOOs are of superior quality, they are always cold extracted from olives harvested at different times of maturity, and before they reach full maturity (black colour): the first is harvested when the olive is still green and begins to show its color purple and the second is harvested once the olive turns purple because it is ripening.
The oil, from the mill to your table
Although the production process is carried out in an artisanal way, Armónico has a digital soul, with a very careful online sales channel, to bring our oils directly from the oil mill to your table.
Once the harvest is over, the winter stop arrives , a well-deserved rest for the olive tree, until the next cycle.
One of the most important moments of the year has arrived: the pruning of our olive trees to prepare them for the next harvest . Pruning is a very delicate job, which requires specialized labor to guarantee the maintenance of the necessary quality standards so that we can continue to produce our superior quality extra virgin olive oils. To do this, at Armónico we are very lucky to have a team of professional farmers, "our crew", who have accompanied us from generation to generation.
Our crew performs a light pruning, just after harvesting, shaping the crown of the olive tree and leaving the ideal plant density for the next production.
After this journey through the stages of the olive tree, we can affirm that, although there are external agents that cannot be controlled, such as the climate, the care and pampering of our olive trees is in our hands. As we have commented on previous occasions, the quality of an oil is never born by chance.