Adopt An Olive Tree

€1,270 of €5,000 goal

Raised by 15 people in 6 months
ADOPT AN OLIVE TREE FROM THE GHOSTS OF ITALY. Symbol of Peace & Abundance. The Ghosts of Italy's #AdoptAnOliveTree initiative offers anyone; from book-readers of #GhostsofItaly, friends, and friends who are family, a special opportunity to share in and support an organic, wild-cultivated sustainable olive grove in Alta Irpinia, Campania, Southern Italy. It's a pay it forward story; tramandare is Italian for handing down something of the family. There are 25 organic and wild-cultivated 'Carnevale’ olive trees in the historic San Benedetto circle grove just below my balcony and a dozen more near the crest of the hillside covered in yellow broom. Zia Maria and her husband Vincenzo hadn’t tended the trees for at least the last three seasons; they weren’t getting any younger, one year had been too lean, so they had let the harvest go. In 2016 she offered the trees to me. After a year of fielding resistance from relatives both near and far, 'Why save the trees?', this year I partnered with a local grassroots non-profit chapter of the greater Irpinia Associazione Olivicoltori ~ The Olive Guys ~ experts in the caring and pruning of millenial and younger olive groves and harvesting their oftimes abandoned trees. 'Carnevale’ is a monovarietal fruit, awarded DOP status in Calitri, Alta Irpinia. This means, the trees in the historic San Benedetto zone, are a designated and protected varietal of olive exclusive to Calitri. Wild harvested and fresh pressed, the small black Carnevale produce a mild yet luxuriously rich and complex fruity oil. Wouldn’t you love some on your table?
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Spring has finally sprung in Alta Irpinia ~ Adopt An Olive Tree from The Ghosts of Italy is back...with a heartfelt thanks to our newbie adoptees ~ Grazie Mille!

Went out to the San Benedetto Circle Grove on a windy Sunday afternoon to see if the late March snow and frost had taken a toll on our olive trees ~ Some branch damage though really not as much as expected. The Olive Guys & I will meet to discuss next steps soon. We may just want to plant a few!

Out there alone, I cleared the November pruned branches to prepare to burn. Walked the Circle a bit & spotted & uprooted three volunteer saplings, what I hoped would be an old apple varietal. Walked home. Potted two, and gave one away ... Turns out they may be cherry, a theme that seems to follow me, or Peche de Vigne ~ the vineyard peach I write about in the recipe section of The Ghosts of Italy ~ Maybe they're picnic peaches from zia Concetta?
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Good news! The Ghosts of Italy Adopt an Olive Tree Initiative just got a whole lot more interesting.

The (non profit) Olive Guys and I are going to further collaborate; building on my premise and their skills and knowledge we'll be adopting two abandoned millennial olive groves in Alta Irpinia to wild cultivate, harvest and produce exclusive olive oils ~ and share it with all of you!

Thank you all so much for being the 1st Adoptees & setting the course!!!

Please stay tuned!
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Your Adoptee funds will first go to paying the olive arborists for their tree and field work in the San Benedetto Circle Grove, then to assess the more mature trees at the hill’s crest near the historic 16th Century cappella of Santa Lucia for the year’s harvest to come. Remaining money will go toward yearly sustainability of all the olive trees; harvesting, pressing at the local frantoio & the development of the Adopt an Olive Tree cantina workshop.
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€1,270 of €5,000 goal

Raised by 15 people in 6 months
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Ellen Shick
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