Miro Mraz embarked on his olive plantation journey in March 2021, with the planting of 30 olive seedlings. Last month, he completed his first harvest, collecting 26 kilograms of olives and producing two and a half liters of oil from them. Initially, Mraz planned to take the olives to an oil mill, but ultimately decided to process them himself. He used a hammermill to grind the olives and an ordinary grape press to complete the oil extraction process.
Mraz opted for three varieties of olives for his plantation, including one domestic variety called Oblica and two Italian varieties known for their ability to tolerate lower temperatures. While winters in Zagorje have become milder over the years, frozen ground remains a challenge for young olive trees. To ensure the success of his plantations, Mraz plans to protect the soil by taking measures such as adding organic matter and using mulch. If the olives survive their first three years without additional protection, they will become hardy enough to endure harsh winter conditions without further intervention.
Despite initial doubts from local residents about the viability of an olive plantation in Zagorje, Mraz is optimistic about its future prospects. He has already placed orders for additional seedlings and plans to eventually fill his entire plot with olive trees. As news spread about his successful harvest, skepticism turned into interest and support from the community. Mraz acknowledges that there was initially some resistance from fellow Zagorje residents but is pleased to see them now considering combinations of Zagorje wine and olive oil thanks to his efforts.
In conclusion, Miro Mraz’s decision to start an olive plantation in Zagorje has proven fruitful as he successfully harvested his first batch of olives last month. His dedication towards protecting the soil has also played a vital role in ensuring its long-term success. The local community is slowly coming around to support this unique project as they begin considering new ways of combining Zagorje wine with olive oil thanks to his efforts.