Harvesting our olives. (2012)
Harvesting our olives. (2012)
For three generations, the Convertini family has been making olive oil at their “trappeto” (olive mill) in Locorotondo. Countless families in Puglia own at least a few olive trees somewhere, and rely on small-scale mills such as this one to make the oil they consume over the year. (2012)
For three generations, the Convertini family has been making olive oil at their “trappeto” (olive mill) in Locorotondo. Countless families in Puglia own at least a few olive trees somewhere, and rely on small-scale mills such as this one to make the oil they consume over the year. (2012)
Picking a friend's olives in the countryside of Martina Franca.  (2014)
Picking a friend's olives in the countryside of Martina Franca. (2014)
The first signs of “Olive Quick Decline Syndrome” (OQDS), as the disease that is ravaging the olive trees of Salento is called, on a centuries-old olive grove in the countryside of Vernole. While olive trees have always suffered from many diseases and pests, today the sight of these patches of yellow leaves is enough to spread terror across entire communities. (2015)
The first signs of “Olive Quick Decline Syndrome” (OQDS), as the disease that is ravaging the olive trees of Salento is called, on a centuries-old olive grove in the countryside of Vernole. While olive trees have always suffered from many diseases and pests, today the sight of these patches of yellow leaves is enough to spread terror across entire communities. (2015)
Blocking a motorway to protest the eradication of olive trees in Torchiarolo, as part of the authorities' plans to contain the Xylella fastidiosa outbreak. Fuelled by online conspiracies and a general distrust of the government, grassroots movements have mobilized wherever the authorities have tried to implement their containment plans, pointing to a failure to take into account the population's views and its attachment to olive trees. (2015)
Blocking a motorway to protest the eradication of olive trees in Torchiarolo, as part of the authorities' plans to contain the Xylella fastidiosa outbreak. Fuelled by online conspiracies and a general distrust of the government, grassroots movements have mobilized wherever the authorities have tried to implement their containment plans, pointing to a failure to take into account the population's views and its attachment to olive trees. (2015)
An olive tree eradicated in the countryside of Torchiarolo, as part of the authorities' attempt to contain the Xylella fastidiosa outbreak. Olive trees are almost sacred in Puglia, a region that even has a law that forbids their eradication, making such scenes almost unimaginable before the detection of the bacteria. (2015)
An olive tree eradicated in the countryside of Torchiarolo, as part of the authorities' attempt to contain the Xylella fastidiosa outbreak. Olive trees are almost sacred in Puglia, a region that even has a law that forbids their eradication, making such scenes almost unimaginable before the detection of the bacteria. (2015)
Mimmo and his father after a day of harvesting olives in the countryside of Cellino San Marco, in Salento. (2015)
Mimmo and his father after a day of harvesting olives in the countryside of Cellino San Marco, in Salento. (2015)
A centuries-old olive tree in the countryside of Squinzano, in Salento. (2016)
A centuries-old olive tree in the countryside of Squinzano, in Salento. (2016)
An olive grower proudly shows his olives in the countryside of Andria. (2016)
An olive grower proudly shows his olives in the countryside of Andria. (2016)
The “Marseglia” vegetable oil refinery near Monopoli, one of the largest in the country. This facility has had many names over the years, after the authorities repeatedly shut it down for a wide variety of crimes connected to the shady olive oil market. Today, its owners have pivoted to “foods, electricity, financial, biofuels, hotels & real restate”, and a persistent smell of pomace, from which the lowest quality of olive oil is made, often hangs over the area. (2016)
The “Marseglia” vegetable oil refinery near Monopoli, one of the largest in the country. This facility has had many names over the years, after the authorities repeatedly shut it down for a wide variety of crimes connected to the shady olive oil market. Today, its owners have pivoted to “foods, electricity, financial, biofuels, hotels & real restate”, and a persistent smell of pomace, from which the lowest quality of olive oil is made, often hangs over the area. (2016)
Harvesting olives in a modern, intensive olive grove in the countryside of Ostuni. The olive oil sector in Puglia employs thousands of people, produces half a billion euros of value every year and literally defines much of a region that boasts more than 50 million olive trees. (2016)
Harvesting olives in a modern, intensive olive grove in the countryside of Ostuni. The olive oil sector in Puglia employs thousands of people, produces half a billion euros of value every year and literally defines much of a region that boasts more than 50 million olive trees. (2016)
Discussing the plan to monitor the outbreak of Xylella fastidiosa in the offices of ARIF, Puglia's forestry agency, in Bari. Vast resources are being invested in monitoring the spread of the bacteria, which the European Union regards as a threat to all of agriculture that has to be contained at all costs because of its ability to evolve and adapt to a wide range of plants. (2016)
Discussing the plan to monitor the outbreak of Xylella fastidiosa in the offices of ARIF, Puglia's forestry agency, in Bari. Vast resources are being invested in monitoring the spread of the bacteria, which the European Union regards as a threat to all of agriculture that has to be contained at all costs because of its ability to evolve and adapt to a wide range of plants. (2016)
A worker from ARIF checks for visible symptoms of the presence of Xylella fastidiosa in the countryside of Francavilla Fontana. (2017)
A worker from ARIF checks for visible symptoms of the presence of Xylella fastidiosa in the countryside of Francavilla Fontana. (2017)
Testing samples of olive leaves for the bacteria Xylella fastidiosa at the CNR (National Research Council) of Bari. (2017)
Testing samples of olive leaves for the bacteria Xylella fastidiosa at the CNR (National Research Council) of Bari. (2017)
The microscopist of the University of Bari, which is one of the last universities in Europe to use an electronic microscope that prints on photographic paper, in a darkroom. (2017)
The microscopist of the University of Bari, which is one of the last universities in Europe to use an electronic microscope that prints on photographic paper, in a darkroom. (2017)
The Xylella fastidiosa bacteria can be seen in the section of a plant's xylem vessel, to the left of this picture by the University of Bari's microscopist Angelo de Stradis. (2017)
The Xylella fastidiosa bacteria can be seen in the section of a plant's xylem vessel, to the left of this picture by the University of Bari's microscopist Angelo de Stradis. (2017)
A graffiti along one of Salento's main roads denounces the entire Xylella affair as “mafia”. This view of the outbreak as a conspiracy or an outright lie to force a wide-ranging transformation of the region's agriculture, landscape and identity is very common in Puglia, and has led to much oppositions to the authorities' efforts to contain it. (2017)
A graffiti along one of Salento's main roads denounces the entire Xylella affair as “mafia”. This view of the outbreak as a conspiracy or an outright lie to force a wide-ranging transformation of the region's agriculture, landscape and identity is very common in Puglia, and has led to much oppositions to the authorities' efforts to contain it. (2017)
Jesus holds an olive branch in a religious icon which can be found in many houses of Puglia. The significance of olive trees goes well beyond the production of olive oil, something that probably played a role in the refusal of much of the region's population to accept the reality of the outbreak and instead seek refuge in denial and conspiracy theories. (2017)
Jesus holds an olive branch in a religious icon which can be found in many houses of Puglia. The significance of olive trees goes well beyond the production of olive oil, something that probably played a role in the refusal of much of the region's population to accept the reality of the outbreak and instead seek refuge in denial and conspiracy theories. (2017)
In the village of Locorotondo, Sara and her grandmother prepare for the traditional ritual to ward off the “malocchio” (the evil eye), which consists of pouring drops of olive oil on water and watching how they behave. Such rituals are very common throughout South Italy, and often have olive oil as their central element. (2017)
In the village of Locorotondo, Sara and her grandmother prepare for the traditional ritual to ward off the “malocchio” (the evil eye), which consists of pouring drops of olive oil on water and watching how they behave. Such rituals are very common throughout South Italy, and often have olive oil as their central element. (2017)
The town of Ostuni rises above the “Piana degli Ulivi” (the plain of the olive trees), an endless expanse of olive groves that stretches all the way to the sea, and is currently in the containment zone of the Xylella fastidiosa outbreak. (2017)
The town of Ostuni rises above the “Piana degli Ulivi” (the plain of the olive trees), an endless expanse of olive groves that stretches all the way to the sea, and is currently in the containment zone of the Xylella fastidiosa outbreak. (2017)
Pruning olive trees in the countryside of Fasano. Techniques such as pruning are extremely important to the trees' health, making up much of the cost of olive oil production, and have declined as farmers have been forced to cut costs because of this commodity's chronically low prices. (2017)
Pruning olive trees in the countryside of Fasano. Techniques such as pruning are extremely important to the trees' health, making up much of the cost of olive oil production, and have declined as farmers have been forced to cut costs because of this commodity's chronically low prices. (2017)
A young olive oil producer from Locorotondo explains to a group of visiting tourists how to read the label on a bottle of olive oil, in order to be able to understand its quality and therefore its price. Producers such as this one are trying to educate customers on what “good olive oil” really means, and why it is so important to pay an adequate price for it. (2017)
A young olive oil producer from Locorotondo explains to a group of visiting tourists how to read the label on a bottle of olive oil, in order to be able to understand its quality and therefore its price. Producers such as this one are trying to educate customers on what “good olive oil” really means, and why it is so important to pay an adequate price for it. (2017)
Judging the results of Puglia's regional championship for policonic-vase pruners, in an educational farm confiscated from the mafia in San Vito dei Normanni. (2017)
Judging the results of Puglia's regional championship for policonic-vase pruners, in an educational farm confiscated from the mafia in San Vito dei Normanni. (2017)
Harvesting the family olives in the Valle d'Itria. (2017)
Harvesting the family olives in the Valle d'Itria. (2017)
After a day of harvesting olives in Acquaviva delle Fonti. (2017)
After a day of harvesting olives in Acquaviva delle Fonti. (2017)
Harvesting olives in the countryside of Fasano. (2017)
Harvesting olives in the countryside of Fasano. (2017)
Tasting the first olive oil of the year at the “Frantolio D'Amico” olive mill in Casalini. (2017)
Tasting the first olive oil of the year at the “Frantolio D'Amico” olive mill in Casalini. (2017)
Dead olive trees in the countryside of Ugento, in Salento. Entire swathes of the region now look like an eerie cemetery of desiccated trees, some of which had stood for centuries if not thousands of years. (2017)
Dead olive trees in the countryside of Ugento, in Salento. Entire swathes of the region now look like an eerie cemetery of desiccated trees, some of which had stood for centuries if not thousands of years. (2017)
Olive trees as firewood after the eradication of an olive grove infected by Xylella fastidiosa in the Valle d'Itria. No compensation has still been paid for the affected farmers, who also have to pay for the eradication themselves and often choose to do so by giving away the valuable wood. (2018)
Olive trees as firewood after the eradication of an olive grove infected by Xylella fastidiosa in the Valle d'Itria. No compensation has still been paid for the affected farmers, who also have to pay for the eradication themselves and often choose to do so by giving away the valuable wood. (2018)
An olive grove in the countryside of Ostuni shows the effects of a herbicide treatment against the bacteria's carrier insect. The plan to attempt to exterminate this common insect to slow the spread of Xylella fastidiosa has proved especially controversial because of the massive amounts of pesticides and herbicides involved and the obligatory nature of these treatments. (2018)
An olive grove in the countryside of Ostuni shows the effects of a herbicide treatment against the bacteria's carrier insect. The plan to attempt to exterminate this common insect to slow the spread of Xylella fastidiosa has proved especially controversial because of the massive amounts of pesticides and herbicides involved and the obligatory nature of these treatments. (2018)
An olive tree in the countryside of Ostuni surrounded by netting meant to protect it from the insect that carries the Xylella fastidiosa bacteria from one tree to the other, a common species of spittlebug known in Italy as the “sputacchina”. (2018)
An olive tree in the countryside of Ostuni surrounded by netting meant to protect it from the insect that carries the Xylella fastidiosa bacteria from one tree to the other, a common species of spittlebug known in Italy as the “sputacchina”. (2018)
Presenting the results of a research on a treatment to reduce the presence of the Xylella fastidiosa in infected olive trees. While the authorities have followed the mainstream scientific view that it is impossible to cure trees infected from the bacteria, other researchers are experimenting with treatments to at least achieve a degree of coexistence with it. (2018)
Presenting the results of a research on a treatment to reduce the presence of the Xylella fastidiosa in infected olive trees. While the authorities have followed the mainstream scientific view that it is impossible to cure trees infected from the bacteria, other researchers are experimenting with treatments to at least achieve a degree of coexistence with it. (2018)
The search for ways to coexist with Xylella fastidiosa has led to a renewed interest in the physiology of olive trees, with grassroots researchers investigating the importance of soil health and experimenting with treatments to restore its microbial flora in order to strengthen the olive trees and allow them to withstand the bacteria. (2018)
The search for ways to coexist with Xylella fastidiosa has led to a renewed interest in the physiology of olive trees, with grassroots researchers investigating the importance of soil health and experimenting with treatments to restore its microbial flora in order to strengthen the olive trees and allow them to withstand the bacteria. (2018)
A super-intensive olive grove in the countryside of Foggia, in the north of the region. Modern systems such as these are being proposed as a replacement for Puglia's traditional olive groves, leading to much controversy about their environmental sustainability, their resilience to future pathogens and the wisdom of persisting in a monocultural approach to olive cultivation. (2018)
A super-intensive olive grove in the countryside of Foggia, in the north of the region. Modern systems such as these are being proposed as a replacement for Puglia's traditional olive groves, leading to much controversy about their environmental sustainability, their resilience to future pathogens and the wisdom of persisting in a monocultural approach to olive cultivation. (2018)
Farmers pick up free olive saplings at the end of a promotional event for the FS-17 "Favolosa" variety at an agricultural cooperative near Racale, in the area of salento where the outbreak began. Originally designed for super-intensive groves, this patented variety shows some tolerance to Xylella fastidiosa, although doubts remain on its water requirements, especially in a region where water is increasingly scarce. (2019)
Farmers pick up free olive saplings at the end of a promotional event for the FS-17 "Favolosa" variety at an agricultural cooperative near Racale, in the area of salento where the outbreak began. Originally designed for super-intensive groves, this patented variety shows some tolerance to Xylella fastidiosa, although doubts remain on its water requirements, especially in a region where water is increasingly scarce. (2019)
Pruning Mihnea's trees, in the countryside of Lecce. (2019)
Pruning Mihnea's trees, in the countryside of Lecce. (2019)
Cristian Casilli, member of the Regional Council for the Five Stars Movement, showing his party's in-depth report on the geographical aspects of Xylella fastidiosa, with the green areas showing the vast amount of Salento's land occupied by olive groves. (2019)
Cristian Casilli, member of the Regional Council for the Five Stars Movement, showing his party's in-depth report on the geographical aspects of Xylella fastidiosa, with the green areas showing the vast amount of Salento's land occupied by olive groves. (2019)
Salvatore Sergi kissing one of his sick, centuries old olive trees. Living deep in the area of Salento affected by the outbreak, Salvatore's fields are surrounded by dead trees on all sides, and yet he is trying all possible natural remedies in order to strengthen his olive trees and allow them to resist to the bacteria. He has invested large sums in natural fertilisers such as organic manure and bat guano, and is devoted to increasing the biodiversity of his fields, which since then have turned into vaguely extravagant gardens. He has also planted a vegetable garden among the mutilated, centuries-old olive trunks, which produce huge amounts of beautiful produce. (2019)
Salvatore Sergi kissing one of his sick, centuries old olive trees. Living deep in the area of Salento affected by the outbreak, Salvatore's fields are surrounded by dead trees on all sides, and yet he is trying all possible natural remedies in order to strengthen his olive trees and allow them to resist to the bacteria. He has invested large sums in natural fertilisers such as organic manure and bat guano, and is devoted to increasing the biodiversity of his fields, which since then have turned into vaguely extravagant gardens. He has also planted a vegetable garden among the mutilated, centuries-old olive trunks, which produce huge amounts of beautiful produce. (2019)
Pasquale Lombardo, farmer and olive grower in the countryside of Felline, in Salento. (2019)
Pasquale Lombardo, farmer and olive grower in the countryside of Felline, in Salento. (2019)
One of Salvatore Sergi's pumpkins. (2019)
One of Salvatore Sergi's pumpkins. (2019)
Salento. (2019)
Salento. (2019)