WELCOME TO OUR OLIVE GROVE
MAS DEL PUCH
We are located just outside of Valderrobres, in the beautiful comarca of Matarranya, in Aragon, Spain. The property extends over 7 hectares, of which 3ha is forest & 4ha is cultivated terraces, at 550m elevation.
We have 200 olive trees in production, most of which are centenarians. The harvest can vary greatly & not all trees produce every year, as they are rain-fed (non-irrigated).
WHAT MAKES THIS OLIVE GROVE SO SPECIAL?
PERMANENT GROUND COVER
Unlike the vast majority of olive farming in Spain, we do not till the land. Instead, we have dedicated the last 3 years to restoring a diverse, permanent ground cover, which is always buzzing with activity. Here are the benefits:
PROTECTING NATIVE PLANTS
The Mediterranean Basin is home to over 25,000 Plant species, 13,000 of which are endemic. 10% of all known plant species on Earth can be found here.
The Mediterranean biome is one of the most endangered & vulnerable on the planet. It has suffered tremendous degradation & habitat loss due to human activity, through logging, overgrazing, conversion to agriculture & introduction of exotic/invasive species. Today, only 4.7 % of the primary vegetation is left.
Restoring native plant habitat is vital to preserving biodiversity & we have made sure to give those plants a permanent home in our olive grove.
Each season, we leave at least 30% of the ground cover completely undisturbed, as it provides habitat for overwintering insects, including native bees, butterflies, and other beneficial insects.
Many of the insects spend the winter in one form or another in dead plant stems or other plant parts, tucked under leaf litter or other plant debris, or nestled in the crown of plants, sheltered from cold, drying winds, and predators. The seeds in dried flower heads also provide a banquet to hungry birds throughout the months of cold weather.
The burning of olive branches during the pruning season is a common agricultural practice & a major source of pollution in the Mediterranean. Instead, we chip all the branches & apply them as mulch around the olive trees. This helps retain moisture in the ground, promotes mycelium & provides nutrients to the trees.
PROJECTS FOR 2022
Each year, we look at ways to further expand the biodiversity in our orchard. These projects were selected for 2022.