The olive fever is rising in Le Marche! This year earlier than usual due to the warm and dry summer. Everywhere you drive by, you will see the nets laid out around the olive trees and the diligent pickers. When you meet someone now, the question is: have you started yet? How many kilos ? Which mill are you going to? but above all how much was the resa or the yield?
Did you know that there are 400 different types of olives in Italy and about 40 in Le Marche? Did you know that the green olive is not a special variety of olive but the unripe variety? As they mature, they turn darker. Depending on the species, the degree of darkness varies.
In order to promote knowledge about olives a little more, in 2016 the municipality of Maiolati Spontini opened La Casa dell’Olio e della Biodiversità, a center for innovation, sustainability and preservation of olive trees. But local agricultural products such as honey, antique flours, etc. are also discussed. With the support of the Marche Region and the Province of Ancona, the town has restored an old farmhouse. On the ground floor, everything revolves around the olive tree and oil, the first floor consists of a versatile room where lectures and training take place.
You can find pictures of the interior on their facebook page. Unfortunately, the center is only open for events or courses.
Fortunately, the gigantic orchard is always open; on a site of 20 ha. More than 1000 trees were planted around the old farm and the site was divided into different sectors:
- L’Oliveto secolare or The Centennial Olive Orchard.
- Il Campo catalogo or the catalog Field.
- L’ Oliveto superintensivo or the super-intensive Olive Orchard.
The Oliveto secolare:
Some were already on the site, others were planted next to it. In total there are 28 centenarians, fascinating because of the thick trunks and/or strange shapes.
Il campo catalogo or the catalog field
Here you will find 20 Marchigian varieties that occur in the different provinces: Pesaro-Urbino, Ancona, Macerata, Fermo and Ascoli Piceno: such as the Ascolana Tenera, the Raggia, the Rosciola, the Coroncina etc.
Each olive variety ensures a difference in taste as far as the olive oil is concerned, but the percentage of olive oil also differs from olive to olive. An Ascolana, for example, serves more as an eating olive because it contains little oil.
The Super Intensive Olive Orchard:
The more experimental part of the site: here the trees are planted in such a way that they can be pruned and harvested mechanically. They also try different pruning techniques. In addition to the Marchigian species, other, among others, the Spanish Arborsana and the Greek Koroneiki were also taken care of.
This center, where you can also just walk and enjoy the beautiful view, is located along the road from Maiolati Spontini to Monteroberto. Follow the coordinates.
If you are in Le Marche during the picking season, be sure to visit an olive oil mill! We already published about this in a previous article.