Apparently Italy is experiencing one of the hottest summers in over two hundred years. This has had an incredible impact on people and the land itself, in particular agriculture. Italians are expecting to have a wheat shortage this year that will cause a rise in the price of pasta, an important Italian staple. In addition, most grape growers are anticipating the harvest by at least a month. This dry hot summer will affect everything from the rate of mortality in Italy’s aging population to the migration patterns of birds. It is incredible the impact weather has on us and how little we can do about it.
All of this climate change and extreme weather made me wonder what the impact would be on olives. The last time I talked to Francesco he told me their would be fewer olives this year but that the quality would be very good. Like grapes vines, olive trees focus their attention when they have fewer fruit. This is good news for quality but bad news for quantity. That said, Francesco didn’t seem to concerned about the heat. The olives in Amelia aren’t irrigated, like some places, but these trees are some of the most drought resistant plants in the Mediterranean. Their slightly fuzzy silver leaves reflect the sun and provide excellent respiration.
While the Italians escape the heat, the olives are basking in the sun.