Sunday, April 7, 2013

Journal April 7, 2013

Finally, the olives have been moved to the greenhouse, on a more or less permanent basis, for the season.  If the nights get really bitter, I will bring them back inside, but they are pretty hardy trees and should have no problem.  Having said that, I do have the heater on and set for forty five degrees, so they should be fine.

Using a remote control light switch, I will activate the LED grow lights in the morning, during cloudy periods, and just before sunset until about eight in the evening.  I am a firm believer that light is the most important ingredient when growing plants.

The olives are really growing much much better than I ever expected when I started this project.  When I was researching growing them in containers I read that they would grow very slowly, but that has not been the case.  In fact, it has been just the opposite, and I am totally amazed at how quickly they are growing.  Each and every tree is literally busting with new growth, to the point that I have to pinch the growing tips every few days to keep them compact.

At first I was not familiar with the nuances of growing olives, and would fret over the color of the new growth, thinking the pale color was a nutrient deficiency.  The yellowing of leaves by natural senescence also threw me for awhile, however, I am becoming more familiar with the plants and find that with a minimal amount of care olives are fun plants to grow.  

Man has been growing olives for more than 7,000 years, and olive oil has long been considered sacred; it was used to anoint kings and athletes in ancient Greece. It was burnt in the sacred lamps of temples as well as being the "eternal flame" of the original Olympic Games.

Along with monounsaturated fats, olives are rich in vitamin E, a fat-soluble antioxidant that neutralizes damaging free radicals, along with polyphenols and flavonoids, which have anti-inflammatory properties. 

I almost forgot to mention that when cured, they taste absolutely great!

1 comment:

Zach Keatts said...

What a gorgeous grove! Keep up the good work