Organic farm

Organic farm in Imperia

How we do it

Our organic olive groves

Organic farming consists in respecting the environment and the natural cycles of the countryside without forcing the plants and the soil, therefore in certified farms, such as the Rudasso Farm, no chemicals are used.

We have chosen organic farming because we love nature and our centuries-old plants to offer our customers a good and completely genuine product. Respect for tradition is deeply rooted in the heart of our farm and we have never abandoned the ancient cultivation methods. As a result of this choice, we obtained certification of compliance with the organic farming rules from the BioAgriCert certification body. The large amount of manual work required, by the simple but long method of cultivation that respects the environment, and the small quantity of olives that can be harvested are compensated by the superior quality of the fruits.

The olive groves of the Rudasso farm are located in the Ligurian hinterland at an altitude between 300 and 500 meters above sea level where the presence of olive fly is very low or zero, thanks to this particular location our plants are naturally protected. Fertilization, according to the organic rules, only organic nutrients can be used, that is of animal or vegetable origin, which in turn are coming from organic farming. In the event that our land needs enrichment, as tradition dictates, we sow organic broad beans (Vicia faba minor) in the “fasce” (the “fasce”, which translates as strips or tapes, are the typical Ligurian terraces, built in ancient times with dry stone walls, they purpose is to level up an otherwise sloping land) and when they are ripe we incorporate them into the earth by means of green manure. Broad beans are legumes that have the ability to facilitate the absorption of nitrogen by the olive trees, a fundamental nourishment naturally present in the soil. Organic farming does not allow GMOs.

From olives to oil

Once the olives are harvested, we bring them to our oil mill. Firstly leaves and twigs are removed using a fan, leaves and twigs fly to one side and olives roll to the other. We place olives in the washing machine for olives where they are rinsed under cold running water and through an auger they enter the crusher, which crushes the olives until a coarse-grained mixture is obtained, consisting of pulp and kernel, after pressing it goes down to the malaxer where it is cold worked for about half an hour.

The dough, through a pump, enters the centrifuge (decanter): turning, the oil, having a different density from the rest of the dough, separates from it and comes out of the centrifuge at 18-20 ° C, ready to be used. The residual pulp is called pomace and we use it as a fertilizer or as a lighter for fireplace.

The pruning of the olive tree

We often go to our land to check the condition of the plants and it may happen that they need to be pruned. With reform pruning, the trees are lowered to the height of the first branches, giving the plant a balanced shape. It maintains a maximum height of six meters including frond. The branches inside the crown are removed and a vase shape is obtained. The fronds are thinned and each branch has its space to develop and be healthy and resistant to fungal diseases, such as sooty mould and leaf spot.

The possible development of animal parasites is prevented by taking away the cut branches. Pruned in this way the plants will be more accessible and workable from the ground and the use of stairs is avoided. After a vegetation period of 2-4 years, the plant returns to produce as many olives as it did before pruning. With regeneration pruning, the trunk is cut at base if the first branches are higher than five meters and if the trunk is corroded by fungal diseases. In a short time, suckers are born from the strain, which will be selected based on how they are arranged and how florid they are, leaving 4 or 5, and then arriving at 2 in a second selection after a few years. These suckers will be the new plants. With periodic pruning, every 3-4 years, the frond is thinned, called in our way “pulì u brüttu”, to aerate the branches and bring larger fruits. We do not use this technique very often because we prefer to have smaller and therefore healthier fruits, because they are less palatable for the oil fly.