A Family Business
Al Alma del Olivo is a family business dedicated to the production of early harvest organic extra virgin olive oils. Its olive grove, El Torrao, is located in La Guardia, Toledo, Spain, covering more than 400 hectares of land within which more than 35,000 olive trees harmoniously co-living with 200 hectares of scrub and its vegetation, such as broom, thyme, rosemary.
Sustainable Organic Farming
From the very beginning, Clara Madrid Gil, the lady who leads the Al Alma del Olivo’s family business, has opted for sustainable organic farming, giving the environment its full respect. It does not use herbicides and pesticides to nurture the olive trees, and hence the olives harvested are pesticide-free and residue-free.
In addition, Al Alma del Olivo is part of the European’s LIFE FOOD BIODIVERSITY project. It places great importance of protecting the environment and land within and around the olive groves. As a result, vegetative covers can be seen all year round and small birds and animals can come to seek refuge in.
Different types of flowers of different colours are also planted on the edges of the olive grove to attract different insects to guard against the harmful pests.
Natural barriers of white broom are erected to protect the olive groves from neighbouring non-organic crops. The natural ponds on the farm become an oasis for animals in the summer.
Al Alma del Olivo’s olive groves are fully integrated with the local fauna and flora. It is also having its own aquifers, streams that flow into the Algodor river. Rabbits, hares, bustards, Bonelli’s eagles, etc co-live on the farm with a peace of mind of knowing that phytosanitary products are not used in the ecosystem.
Seeing Olive Tress as Living Being
In the past, at the end of harvest season, all the wastes are transformed and/or reused within the same operation. For example, during the pruning process, all the firewoods obtained are used for the farm’s fireplaces. The rest is chopped up and incorporated into the plant cover, in order to enrich the soil naturally.
During the production of the oil, the leaves are taken to a local farmer to feed the sheeps. The waste water obtained from the process is used to water the olive trees. And the pomace is sold to other producers to make the olive pomace oil.
But now, Al Alma del Olivo develops its own compost using the waste products generated from the production (leaves, waste water, pomace) and use them as soil conditioner, natural fertilizer and as organic pesticide to enrich the soil and grow its olive trees. To go one step further, the olive pits are also recovered and used as fuel to heat the mill’s installations.
WHAT GOES IN, MUST COME OUT. This is perfectly what an environmentally-friendly olive ecosystem will be like: whatever goes in, only extra virgin olive oil must come out – Pesticide-, herbicide- and insecticide-free without residue, ensuring that the extra virgin olive oil is safe, healthy and totally organic.