We grow three varieties of olive.
Frantoio is a Tuscan variety, a large vigourous tree (similar to J5) with a good size olive suitable for either pickling or olive oil. The flavours are robust and tasty.
Leccino is another Tuscan variety, a more open tree with large fruit. In Italy, Leccino is the top Tuscan variety for olive oil production but also good for pickling. It ripens early (end April/early May where we live) and gives a yellow, mellow, fruity oil.
J5 The story goes that this variety was introduced by immigrants from Dalmatia in the late 19th century. They came to dig for Kauri Gum in the swamps in the Far North. They brought olive trees and planted them in coastal areas. Some of these trees are to be found around the Hokianga Harbour, still flourishing today. One hundred years on, Mr Milton Johnson, a nurseryman from Kaitaia took cuttings from some of these trees and propagated them. He labelled his batches of cuttings J1, J2, J3 etc. Long story short, J5 was the most successful and is now grown extensively in the Far North. it is another large vigorous tree that produces a robust olive oil full of flavour. The oil is green and the aroma will put you in mind of freshly mown grass.
We harvest using hand held equipment and nets with the help of family, friends and neighbours.
We operate our grove according to NZ GAP (Good Agricultural Practices), which is to say we use a bare minimum of sprays and lots of natural compost, sea weed and horse manure.