GROWING THE GOOD LEAF With Aaron Prior
Many aspects of our wellness journey can be traced back to the roots of nature. Plants, florals and vegetation have been harvested for centuries as a rich source of antioxidants to help maintain general wellbeing. And Olive Leaf Extract was one of the first fruit trees to be cultivated by humans.
The ancient philosopher Aristotle once said, "In all things of nature there is something of the marvellous". Time may have passed, however nature still holds its place in our journey to wellness, especially when talking about Olive Leaf Extract.
Comvita’s own Aaron Prior, Operations Manager. Aaron shares what goes on behind the scenes in the growing of The Good Leaf – olive leaf, that is – including secrets to harvesting its extract and the properties that have made it an elixir of wellbeing since the ancient times.
WHERE IS COMVITA’S OLIVE GROVE?
The Comvita Olive Grove, made up of 800,000 trees is located in southeast Queensland, nestled in the foothills of the Great Diving Range. It’s the perfect location and climate for olive trees, with hot, dry summers and cool winters.
The Comvita farm is an incredible display of nature, which never ceases to amaze Aaron in the light of the morning sun. He especially loves that during windy periods the trees can look like waves in the ocean from a distance.
HOW IS NATURE USED TO PROTECT AND CARE FOR THE OLIVE TREES?
Comvita’s Olive trees are grown in hedgerows to keep the leaf harvestable and at its highest quality. Growing the trees like this also help to manage weeds and encourage natural pest management, which is what impresses Aaron most about the grove!
The biggest threat to the Olive trees are Lace bugs, the predominant pest, which during the winter season can infest and attack the olive leaves. To avoid intervention with harmful chemicals, Aaron and the team at the grove have created an environment allowing nature to take care of the problem: grasses and flowering plants have been matured in the inter rows between the olive trees, allowing the good bugs such as lace wings and Lady birds to thrive and feed off the pollen. In return, they control the outbreak of lace bugs.
Although working amongst the trees is truly satisfying, overseeing this natural ecosystem is one of Aaron’s favourite part of the job. In his words - seeing nature at work is marvellous!