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Olive Cultivation

The green colour of the olive tree dominates in the cultivations of Skarinou, thus creating unique images. Visitors in Skarinou are likely to see images which resemble ones we see in paintings, such as farmers cultivating their land and olive trees or even harvesting the olives from their trees. 

The care of the ground, the pruning of the olive trees and the harvest of the olives constitute the main cultivating tasks of olive cultivators.    

Olive cultivators have to first care for the ground. In particular, they properly prepare the ground by enriching it with nutritious elements and by freeing it from pests. 

Pruning constitutes another important task since it contributes to the productivity of the olive trees. This has to be done either at the beginning of spring or during the harvest period. Olive cultivators prune the unnecessary branches so that only the fruit-bearing ones will remain on the trees. 

Although olive groves do not require frequent irrigation, proper irrigation of olive trees is crucial both for the increase of production and the quality of the olives. In particular, irrigation is vital for productivity mainly during the months of florescence, meaning the spring months.   

The harvest of the olives known as “louvisma” of the olives takes place from the end of October until the end of February using the method of drubbing or caning or by using modern machine-assisted methods.   

Drubbing, the traditional method for the harvest of the olives mentioned above, is done as follows: Villagers “beat” the olive tree with a wooden stick called “vakla” and then the olives fall on the ground and are gathered on the huge pieces of cloth which have been previously placed under the trees. Next, the olives are placed in cases and are transferred to the olive-oil presser for the production of olive oil. 

Some olive cultivators continue to use the traditional method of multiplying their olive trees called grafting, meaning the insertion of an olive tree branch into another type of tree. However, it is worth mentioning that it takes at least three years after planting the olive tree before this produces any olives.

Source:
Ionas Ioannis, Traditional Cyprus Professions, Nicosia 2001

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