Photographer's Note

Corfu is covered by 3-6 million olive trees, some of them over 400 years old, and 3% of the world’s olive oil comes from Corfiot olives!First of all, Corfiot olive trees are HUGE. As a result it’s almost impossible to beat, shake or generally get the olives out of the tree. One has to wait until they fall down by themselves after a good storm. In the past, this was not a problem, as the olives were hand-picked (a slow and hard work!) and only the good olives were harvested. Some decades ago though, people switched to using olive nets. Those nets are laid under the olive trees in the autumn and the olives are harvested two or three times during the winter by lifting the nets and gathering all olives.
On the other hand, we must point out that the olive groves of Corfu are sensational! Walking under those enormous, 400-year old trees gives you a feeling similar to walking into a great cathedral.
Olives in Corfu are harvested from November until April, six to eight months after their spring blossoms appear. Olive trees require very warm average temperatures and grow successfully in Corfu, with its mild winters and long, hot summers. In many regions, olives are beaten from the tree with poles and caught in large nets. Other olive farmers now use machine harvesting, including trunk and branch shakers.
Some of the olive trees can be as old as 1000 years. The trees have big holes in the trunks. Such old orchards are very impressive. Here the olive trees near Sidari.
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Additional Photos by Malgorzata Kopczynska (emka) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 10124 W: 144 N: 25326] (123353)
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