First, the bad news about our olive crop. We have two young trees we planted five years ago and eight years ago and so far we’ve had very small crops from them, but they’ve been increasing each year. We try to garden organically so we don’t treat the olive trees with chemicals but this year I’ve found signs of the most serious olive pest, the olive fly, Bactrocera oleae. I noticed that some of the olives were turning black already, much too early as they usually ripen in November. I picked a couple and opened the flesh to find the dreaded larvae inside. You can see one in the olive on the left below:
As far as I can tell from my researches, the fly larvae are only a serious problem for the large-scale production of olive oil as it reduces the quality of the oil. Most of our olives should still be all right to eat, I hope. But maybe next year we should treat them. It’s too late for this year.
And the good part of the day was having a lovely long lunch in the garden with friends. I enjoyed it too much and was too busy eating, drinking and talking to take photos other than this one when we were unpacking the baskets to serve tapas – aubergine slices, tapenade, red peppers, cured ham, potatoes cooked with onion and red pepper – followed by mussels cooked over a charcoal fire and then served with tomato and chorizo sauce, goats’ cheeses and fruit.