In March of this year, Miro Mraz embarked on a new venture by planting 30 olive seedlings in his backyard. After finishing his first harvest, he collected 26 kilograms of olives and produced two and a half liters of oil from them. Initially, Mraz planned to take the olives to an oil mill, but he decided to process them himself using a hammer to grind them and a regular grape press for oil extraction.
Mraz chose to plant three varieties of olives, including one local Oblica variety and two Italian varieties known for their resistance to lower temperatures. While winters in Zagorje are no longer as harsh as they used to be, the frozen ground still presents a challenge for young olive trees. To ensure the success of his plantations, Mraz plans to protect the soil by implementing measures such as mulching and adding organic matter. If the olives survive the first three years without additional protection, they will become hardy enough to withstand winter conditions without further intervention.
Despite initial skepticism from Zagorec residents, Mraz is optimistic about the success of his olive plantation. He has already ordered more seedlings for future planting and plans to eventually fill the entire plot with olive trees. As news spread about the first fruits of his groves, interest and support from the local community have grown exponentially. Mraz is pleased that many Zagoreans are now considering combinations of Zagorje wine and olive oil thanks to his successful harvest.
In conclusion, Miro Mraz’s decision to start an olive plantation has paid off as he was able to successfully produce oil from his first harvest despite facing challenges such as harsh winters in Zagorje. His optimism towards the success of his venture has been rewarded with support from the local community who are now considering new business opportunities in combination with Zagorje wine and olive oil production.