Down on the farm – Spring update
With Aaron Prior, Comvita® Olive Leaf Farm Manager.
Spring has sprung and we welcome the end of the frosty mornings and short days. However, with the extra warmth and sunshine, comes our old nemesis – weeds!
With our 400 km’s of olive tree rows, we’re kept very busy spraying under the olive trees to prevent weeds and grass from growing up into the olive leaf foliage. The weeds, if allowed, will compete with the olive trees for water and nutrients. Also we can’t have foreign matter like tall weeds or grass getting harvested with the leaves.
The farm has been greatly blessed by the purchase of an electric buggy which has been set up as a spray unit. The buggy overcomes many problems associated with quad-bikes, which have been traditionally used on farms. Quad-bikes have a disturbing rate of death and injury, which the electric buggy overcomes with different wheels, a lower centre of gravity and lower speeds.
On the farm we are focused on protecting the environments and our workers health. We use a soft weed spray called Basta, which burns the plant on contact without leaving any residue to effect the soil or damage our olive trees. Better spraying practices = better plant health = better olive leaf extract!