Olive trees - Olea europaea

Characteristics and uses:

This tree is found in much of the Mediterranean Basin, Africa, Arabian Peninsula, Asia: it s an evergreen tree, very hardy, drought, disease and fire resistant. The olive's fruit (also called the olive) is the source of olive oil, one of the major agricultural resource in the Mediterranean region. The fruit is a small drupe, smaller in wild plants than in orchard cultivars. Olives are harvested in the green to purple stage: here usually in October. There are hundreds of cultivars of the olive tree: fruits may be used for oil, eating (table olives), or both. There are several trees of about 1000 years old, up to 3000 and 4000 years old (Ozzastru in Luras, Sardinia). Raw or fresh olives are naturally very bitter: to make them edible, olives must be fermented, usually in water and salt, removing oleuropein. Extravirgin olive oil has high content of healthful, monounsaturated fats, like oleic acid, and polyphenols: it plays a very big role in Mediterranean diet.


The word derives from Latin "oliva", and from Greek "elaìa" while olive oil is "oleum" in Latin and "élaion" in Greek.

Other uses:

Recent reviews seem to show that even olive leaves contain important components: they are evaluating pyretic, dietetic, hypoglycemic, anti-inflammatory and cleansing properties, evidenced by the ancient use in traditional medicine. Olive oil is useful not only in your kitchen: Olive oil is a dandy substitute for shaving cream: it will moisturize your skin as well. If your hair is dry, heat some olive oil (but don't boil it), and apply it to your hair. Cover with some plastic, then wrap it in a towel. Let it set for half an hour, then shampoo and rinse. To remove paint or car grease from your hands, pour 1 teaspoon olive oil and one teaspoon salt or sugar into your hands. Vigorously rub the mixture, then wash it off with water and soap: your hands will be cleaner, and softer as well. Some people say olive oil is useful to stop snoring: if you want to give a go, take a sip of olive oil before bed. It might lubricate your throat muscles, and stop your partner, or yourself, from snoring.

History and folklore:

It seems certain that the olive tree we know had its origin approximately 6000 - 7000 years ago, probably in ancient Persia and Mesopotamia, but its immediate ancestry is unknown. Olive oil has long been considered sacred, mentioned in nearly every sacred text: it propelled the entire Western world in antiquity. The olive branch, also today, is a symbol of peace, glory and abundance. The leafy branches, found also in Tutankhamun's tomb, were used to crown the victors of friendly games and bloody wars. In the language of flowers it is a symbol of peace, glory, wisdom, power, fertility and purity.

**** We grow Bosana, Kalamata, Nera di Gonnos (nera di Cagliari), Pizz'e Carroga (pollination) cultivar. To harvest olives, we hand pick them, traditional way, to not damage the fruit and to ensure maximum freshness and integrity. We don't use olives found lying on the ground. ****