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CULTIVATION OF OLIVES

Olive cultivation is extremely important for the people of Mari and this is indicated by the numerous plots of land filled with olive trees. The most important part of olive cultivation is the preparation of the ground and the harvesting of the olives.

The cultivators initially prepare the soil. To be more explicit, they aim to clear it from pests and to enhance it with nutritious substances.

At the beginning of spring, or during harvest, trimming the olive trees is necessary for increasing the production.

People in Mari try to irrigate their olive trees properly, as it is decisively important for production. The Community Council has contributed to the productiveness of the olive trees in Mari in cooperation with the Limassol drainage board, as they achieved irrigation for all cultivated pieces of land. Thus, they resolved the issue of lack of water. It must be noted that cultivators avoid watering olive plantations often; they only use big amounts of water during spring, when irrigation raises productivity.

Harvest or “louvisma” as it is known here, takes place at the end of October until the end of February. This is achieved using a long stick to hit the branches (“vaklisma”). To be more specific, they used a wooden stick, named “vakla”, to hit the tree so as to make the olives fall on the ground.

What is interesting is that during this period the cultivators manage to multiply their crop by inoculation, namely by placing on a tree a branch from another variety of olive tree. This method was handed down for father to son. This method of proliferation is quite old in Mari. However, fructification as far as olive trees are concerned is not immediate, as each new tree does not produce olives for three years after it has been planted.

Olive cultivation in Mari is successful because of the know-how of its inhabitants and their continuous looking after their trees. At the same time, the climate and the morphology of the ground are really helpful as far as olive cultivation is concerned.

Sources:
Ionas Ioannis, Traditional Occupations in Cyprus, Nicosia, 2001, p.487-497
Great Cypriot Encyclopedia, vol. 2 and vol.5

 
 

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COMMUNITY COUNCIL OF MARI
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