We visited Logothetis farm who is making organic extra virgin olive oil in Zakynthos, Greece.
The Corona virus pandemic hit the Logothetis family hard and 2022 was another harsh year for them because of drought and a heatwave. Because olive fruits became relatively smaller than usual, their yield became lower than average. Moreover, prices of fertilisers and other materials soared, Dionyssis decided to expand the field of Natural Agriculture which requires no fertilisers and other inputs. Now, he grows 500 olive trees by Shumei Natural Agriculture method.
Despite these challenges, he stays positive pursuing the highest quality of extra virgin olive oil. He is also a qualified instructor of olive oil tasting. He teaches how to taste olive oil to many people during wintertime.
Olive oil is used as a base for cooking. If there is bitterness in the olive oil, this will spoil the taste of the dishes. Peppery sensation in the aftertaste is an essential feature of good olive oil. Some farmers add this sensation by crushing the seeds together, but Dionyssis never does. Instead, he created his own mill on his farm. He imported a stone milling machine from Italy and installed it in his mill. It was coincidently the same year when he started Shumei Natural Agriculture. Unlike other types of pressing equipment, stone milling produces less bitterness even though it requires a lot more labour. At that time, only three Italian-made stone mill was working in Greece.
It is crucial to press olive fruits as soon as possible after the harvest. It is said that the olive must be pressed within 48 hours after the harvest to be an extra virgin oil. However, olive fruits are pressed right after the harvest at Logothetis farm. Most of olive growers need to ask a cooperative or an olive oil company in the area to press the oil. Therefore, they need to wait for their turn to use the mill and the quality of the oil can deteriorate while waiting. Sometimes, the mill is fully booked and they cannot press in time.
During the visit to his olive grove, we understood that Logothetis family is creating the best possible environment for olive oil production while investing all their time and efforts. We believe their passion for the highest quality olive oil will help people enjoy their meals and live healthier lives.