The olive tree is an evergreen tree or shrub native to the coastal areas of Eastern Mediterranean as well as Northern Iraq and Iran and south of Caspian Sea. The Tree has silvery green oblong leaves with white feathery flowers.
Olive fruit is a small drupe 1–2.5 centimeters (0.39–0.98 in) long, thinner-fleshed and smaller in wild plants than in orchard cultivars. Olives are harvested in the green to purple stage.
British husband and wife team, Cathy Rogers and Jason Gibb, sometime ago, came up with a healthy idea – adopt an olive tree and own a little piece of the Italian country-side and all the produce from the tree, for one whole year.
How did the Nudo Adopt an olive tree idea originate?
A friend of ours mentioned a programme in southern Italy called ‘Adopt a Sheep’. The idea was to save a rare breed of Abruzzan sheep – so you adopt a sheep, receive a fulsome flow of cheese and wool for a few years. Jason, being a vegetarian, wasn’t so interested in dead sheep, but thought adopting an olive tree and the wonderful oil it produced would be more romantic.
Why do different olive oils taste different?
There are three contributors to the massive regional diversity of olive oil. The first is the literally hundreds of different varieties of olives which, like any fruit, have different flavours and textures. The second, as with wine, is the importance of ‘terroire’ – the environment in which the olive trees grow. Everything from soil type to the direction a hill faces to rainfall to neighbouring trees will subtly affect the flavour of olive oil. The third crucial contributor is the human being behind the olive grove. The pruning, care and harvesting of the trees all affect flavour and different parts of the world have different approaches. The Greeks let their olives mature and fall off the trees. The Spanish have huge industrial groves and harvest using machinery. Earlier picked olives tend to be more peppery (essentially the fruit is less ripe) whereas a later harvest will give a milder flavour. We harvest early and totally by hand so the oil tastes… well make your own conclusions!
How does the scheme work?
For £65 (plus shipping), you will receive an Adoption certificate and all the produce from your tree. The olives will be turned into extra virgin olive oils and sent in two deliveries (extra virgin olive oil in the spring and a set of three flavoured extra virgin olive oils in the autumn) over the following year. You can even select the grove to Adopt from (different areas have different notes of flavour) and arrange a visit to your tree should you wish. For more information about the Nudo ‘adopt an olive tree’ programme,