· HOW IS THE OLIVE FLY CONTROLLED?
By using a microscopic living organism, a bacterium similar to those that transform milk into yoghurt: Bacillus thuringiensis. When diluted in water and sprayed on the leaves the olive fly feeds on, but drastically reduces the infestation. The bacterium becomes inactive after a few hours and does not persist in the environment.
· WHAT KIND OF FERTILISER DO YOU USE?
According to an old farmers saying, if you dont feed your plants, they wont feed you. Very true! All it takes is a 25-kg sack of chemical-based complete fertiliser for every 2.5 acres. But thats certainly not our way of doing things.
Our trees prefer manure, poultry droppings, nitrogenous compounds of animal origin, minerals, hoof-and-horn meal and other natural products including even sheep-shearing waste.
· HOW CAN YOU STOP THE INSECTS THAT CLIMB UP TREE TRUNKS TO EAT THE LEAVES?
Years ago, Italian housewives used to cover radiators with a kind of white fibre to prevent unsightly black dust stains on the wall. We wrap a strip of that fibre around each tree trunk because insects cant crawl over it.
· HOW DO YOU DEAL WITH WEEDS?
We use Natures four-legged mowers - sheep! While trimming the grass and weeds, they fertilise the soil. Or we apply a mulch.