Spring is in the air
There's a 'lightness' in the air, which might sound strange, but for those who live through winter in the High Country, they'll know exactly what I mean. There's a slight lift in the air, it carries a smidgen more warm, you can work a little later in the afternoon, you can start a little earlier without your fingers falling off. It simply means winter is finishing and spring is coming. Is this a good thing...well for those who suffer chilblains like I do, absolutely, for those who haven't got all their winter farming tasks done, like I haven't, then not so much. A farmer's lot, never happy.
We had an excellent, but challenging olive harvest season. The extremely dry weather, put trees everywhere into stress, which resulted in slower ripening. An element of slower ripening is good for flavour and oil development, but in the High Country, it usually means you'll start having to manage ripeness with frost risk. So to achieve that balance this year, I colour picked my Kalamatas twice, this allowed me to pick and process fruit at it's optimum, without having to wait for the whole tree to ripen, but as you can image it is a labour intensive process assessing every olive on a tree and deciding if it should be picked. I ended up losing about 25% of my crop this year to frost, they just didn't get to the ripeness I wanted before the frost arrived. This means I'll need to rake these olives off the trees, to reduce the stress the trees are under as they come into their spring growth flush.
Saffron was another matter, it loved the autumn that we had. Excellent day warmth, beautifully cold nights resulted in the best saffron season to date. 2017 olives are currently being packed out and will be ready for our return to markets on Saturday 18th August at Coburg Farmers Market and Sunday 19th August at Alphington Farmers Market. You'll also be able to get your hands on our amazing Egyptian Dukkha, which has just been awarded a Bronze medal from the Australian Food Awards. I look forward to seeing all your friendly faces, I've missed you!