The hills of Foligno, in the heart of the olive zone between Assisi and Spoleto, have been dominated since time immemorial by majestic olive trees. These hills provide the setting for the Viola family’s company.
The perennially sun-drenched trees are mostly to be found on the steeper slopes.
The calcareous and rocky soil, the mild climate which is well-ventilated and not excessively humid; these are all factors that make this place the ideal location for olive cultivation and the healthy growth of the fruit.
Our land, our olive trees and the encompassing complex ecosystem combine to provide a biodiversity heritage that is unique in this world. It is a priceless treasure that we must protect. This variety of factors is not just in reference to living things such as plants, animals and microorganisms, but it also includes cultural and human diversity. This biosystem is deeply rooted in history and in the traditions and culture of our families who inherited it and who, with great sacrifice preserved it. We now have the responsibility to maintain this tradition and keep it intact.
THE CYCLE OF NATURE
There is only one way to discover the uniqueness of the ancient olive tree, and that is by spending time in an olive grove, step by step, wandering among the trees.
Stop and look closely: with a sharp eye, observe the signs of the passing of time, picture its evolution and absorb its messages. You become the custodian of a treasure that constantly evolves and offers the gift of eternity.
The slow passage of time is what contributes to the growth of good fruit; fundamentally, it is having the patience in finding the right balance between our agricultural work and the natural world around us.
During the winter months, the trees allow themselves to rest and with the arrival of spring, they burst into life, preparing themselves to offer us the gift of new fruit.
Winter is also the period when fertilisation is carried out. The soil in the olive groves is enriched with a large amount of organic material of animal origin. This fundamental element is then absorbed by the root structure of the trees so that all the necessary nutritional value can be drawn in to allow for the development of the foliage that will give life to the spring flowering.
“We don’t inherit the land from our ancestors: we borrow it from our children”
(A Navajo proverb)
Another important phase in the growth and maturation of the olive tree is pruning; through the use of specific cutting methods, an equilibrium between the tree, its foliage and its environment is created, thus allowing for vigorous growth and the production of healthy fruit.
“Cultivate your field every year: it will bear fruit for all the years.”
Other than the techniques of cultivation, the factor that contributes to the growth of good fruit is the slow passage of time; fundamentally, it is having the patience in finding the right balance between our agricultural work and the natural world around us.
“There are no passengers on spaceship earth. We are all crew.”