Expats in Croatia – Olive garden

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Expats in Croatia – Olive garden

Did we tell you that we are growing olives?

Growing olive trees is (mostly) low maintenance. Yet it takes around 5 years to get enough olives (masline) on your trees to produce enough olive oil to last you the year. So that is why back in 2010, we decided to plant olives in Croatia, on land we inherited as an investment for future olive oil (maslinovo ulje) production and, more importantly, consumption.

expat olive gardens
Little buds of goodness

We now have almost 50 trees and plan to plant another 20 trees in the near future. We have planted a Croatian olive variety called the Orkula, also known as Oblica, depending on where you are from. These olive trees produce large olives, which makes them easy to pick when harvesting.

Unfortunately for us, we have another 2 years to wait before we start getting enough olives to make oil. Until then, I hope you enjoy the wander through our olive garden in these photos.

You can also read our expat adventures in winemaking and or why not take a look at one of the tasty Croatian recipes we’ve shared.

expat olive gardening
Garden number 1
expat olives
Garden number 2
expat olive tree
The branch needed just a little support to keep it from snapping, until it matures.
expat olive
The future olive oil that will be in my kitchen
expat in the olive gardening
These fell off the tree early. No good for olive oil, but still good in the oven as a snack.
expat olive garden
Getting bigger and bushier by the day
expat in the olive garden
My boys playing in the dirt – country life is fun!
expat olives
1, 2, 3, 4, 5…..

Have you ever grown olives? Any tricks you’d care to share?


Comments (31)

  1. Hi…
    my name is Lilian from Nigeria. i want to start Olive farming in Nigeria, but don’t know much about olive farming.
    please can you tell me what to do or where i can source for information that will guide me.
    The spacing of your olive farming is nice. hope your 50 trees of olive tree is doing well.

  2. so happy i found this blog! i live in the US and have a dream to move to Croatia one day, feels unattainable at the moment but reading some of your posts make the dream feel more real–thanks for the added inspiration:)

    1. You are so welcome Vani. It is hard, I won’t lie. BUT it is attainable and worst case you can always go back and say you gave a a shot! Keep in touch.

  3. Oh my I am beyond envious! It all looks so beautiful and being in such glorious surroundings must make tending for them all a bit easier. Are they hard work to manage?

    I am off to daydream about making my own olive oil now! Thanks ever so much for joining in and sharing – I really look forward to seeing your olive oil being made!

  4. we’ve got a few olive trees growing (well they were OVER growing) in our garden. Now with the help of some local friends, we’ve pruned them back, and they get more “energy” from the soil so produce bigger and better olives. But as we are never in Croatia during olive-picking times, our friends go round collecting olives from our garden (and gardens of other expats who are also not there) so they can make their own olive oil. How good is that!!. I think the very tiring and time-consuming bit is picking the olives, and it has to be done quickly when they are ripe, so be ready for a lot of work in a few years with your 50-70 trees, SJ (or get a lot of help from family /friends when is olive-picking season….)

    1. That is good that they benefit. Especially as they’d leave behind a bunch of mess on the ground if they did not.
      Our community all help each other, so yup we’ll have lot of hands at the ready to help – as we did with them this year. It has to be one of the best things about living so close to family. So many hands to help when you need.

  5. Hi SJ,
    seems you put more effort into your pages than I.
    Anyway,only one can be the winner :-), and being very (!!!!) busy on our land, I simply have to choose.
    About them olives I have a question:
    I know you can produce your own olive oil, the very best, but what about preserving them as olives, in let’s say salt or oil ?
    Did you of could you let us readers know how to do so ?
    Thanks, poz, pim.

    1. I am a night owl, and with a sleeping baby you can do much at 2am 🙂
      As for the olives, I was asking about that this week, BUT I need Mr. CtD home to translate as I can’t be sure of what is being said. I did see a big pile in the fridge which looked new. Stay tuned.

  6. This post made my mouth water – and that ad for filigree jewelry gets me every time I come here!

    1. Only 2 more years to wait! Aisha I have a pair of the earrings – I’ll put up a post this week. They are so divine, and even better looking in real life.

  7. They look lovely! It will be great to be able to make your own olive oil – I don’t know if I would have the patience to wait for them to mature, though! I have a hard enough time waiting for my tomatoes to get ripe.

  8. I love your olive fields! How wonderful 2015 will be when you can begin to produce oil! 🙂

  9. Looks great! We only planted one olive tree last year. No olives on it yet, so no tis from this side 😉

  10. Can’t offer any tips, I’m afraid – We have one olive tree which provides us sufficient fruit to preserve & eat. Good luck with yours! x

  11. Splendid photos! I am jealous of the space, I wish we could grow the olive trees. Beautiful, simply beautiful!

  12. How cool is it that to have all those olive trees and you can snack on them and make your own oil. I never realized how much maintenance and patience it seems to grow one. I’m loving reading all about your country life.

    1. Thanks Mary, I feel so blessed with my life right now & even more os that others are enjoying sharing the journey with me. Thanks for coming back xx

  13. I love olives so much and would probably explode to see your fantastic garden. I know we joke about it- but I really would like to swing in for a visit if we can ever get it together and plan a trip there!

    1. Yes, we should arrange something of some kind. I’d suggest you stay in Europe AT LEAST one more year, then you can come and stay at our house and have the 2 guest rooms for you and the boys and we can walk across the road to the beach and sip on home made wine.

  14. I planted two masline 3 or 4 years ago and they haven’t grown very much still, so sorry I don’t have any “tricks” to share. I do, however, have access to the olives from mature groves belonging to friends.

    1. Damn, I hope ours grow. Do you remove the weeds / grass from around base? I’ve learnt that, that is a good way to help them grow. Until then, enjoy the oil from your friends I say 🙂

  15. Beautiful photos. And lucky you, how amazing to make your own olive oil. I am growing more envious of your Croatian life by the day!!

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