Hello to all our olive oil aficionados ! We are pleased to present our 3rd newsletter, thanks for all the good feedback on the first two newsletters!!

Weather 3rd quarter 2015

The summer has been much warmer than usual, we had several days with temperatures over 40 degrees, and especially August, which was very warm and very dry. Our biggest concern over the summer months, is always the risk of brush fires and unfortunately we experienced two this summer. Thanks to the efficiency of our local fire brigade, no serious damage was done. The biggest issue this year however, were two violent summer hail storms that destroyed 30% of the 2015 harvest. We were very pleased with the development of the olives up until this point and were hoping for a good harvest in volume terms, but then experiencing two hail storms in quick succession set us back. Such is the life of a farmer, just when you think you have everything under control, nature explains to you rather loudly, that there is no such thing as “control” in organic agriculture.

We did have some good news also. The dreaded fruit fly is usually not active when temperatures are above 28 degrees, and since this summer’s temperatures were much higher, we have only had a very limited impact of this disagreeable pest.

What have we been doing the past 3 months ??

If early year preparations are done correctly, summer is usually a rather quiet time on the farm. The main activities are centered around limited grass cutting, spraying a chalk-water solution on the trees to fight the fruit fly and regular check on the irrigation systems. The latter proved to be somewhat of a challenge. Since our irrigation system is now powered by solar energy, we had to balance the electrical output of the solar panels with the need for irrigation at night. It took a bit of experimenting and fiddeling, but we got there in the end, and we are happy we have completed our last step towards a fully sustainable farming operation.

As work levels slack of in summer it is the perfect time to organize our Querubi Camps. Each year we invite British under-privileged children to spend a week on the farm in order to experience life on an organic farm. This September we organized two Camps, with 16 children in total. We do light farm work in the mornings (our favorite morning activity is stone picking) followed by and afternoons of fun, sporty things. We end the week, climbing of the 2800 m high Mount Canigou and camping in the mountain. We are delighted to say, that –after some light encouragement – all the children made it to the top!! Feel free to look at some of the footage from those weeks on our website, it will give you a real feel of what we do here: www.querubicamp.com

New harvest available in the UK from December 1st 2015

The harvest is scheduled for mid October, as we harvest by hand, it will take probably 2 weeks to get the harvest in. We have already done a test harvest (a small volume of olives that we press in order to get a feel for the oil quality) as we write this newsletter and we are very pleased with the oil quality (lots of grassy flavours and spicy undertones) and will probably take 2 weeks. After bottling in October, we now plan to ship the oil to our distributors at the end of November.

Online shop live, December 1st 2015

We are looking forward to launching our new web shop on December 1st, so you can get our oil online.

Looking forward to reporting some good news in December!!

Willem

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