SOUTHERN SPAIN – Monoculture

The countryside in Southern Spain is rolling hills with millions of olive trees.  The silvery green foliage of the olives mixes with the dusty orange soil and the greenish grey lichen on the rocks.  What a color palette.  Riding by these rows and rows of Olive trees was fascinating.  There is something beautiful about the simplicity of a monoculture (planting of only one plant), yet some blocks of Olives were several hundred years old with gnarled trunks and some were brand new fields of lithe trees.  Upon closer inspection, there was variety. 

Some Spanish olive growers are going organic and have found that top dressing their fields with compost has improved the growth of the trees and has dramatically stopped erosion of the bare soil.  The soil is more knit together by the bio organisms between the soil particles.  And a grower told me that they use a type of fermented milk as a spray for one type of pest on the Olives.  That sounds stinky!