27 Apr

Origin of Olives in South Africa

olive tree in south africaIn 1902, after completing his studies at Saint Illario Agricultural College in Genoa, Ferdinando Costa arrived in Cape Town to assist his brother Raphael, who had set up a successful nursery in Wynberg. After a few years, Ferdinando was able to obtain his own small piece of land opposite the new Fernwood Estate in Newlands . He called it Union Nursery and it is here that the first olives were cultivated in the Cape Province.

Obtaining scions of the best cultivars from his former associates at the St Illario Institute, he was then able to graft onto our wild olive, which at the time was growing all over the foothills of the Boland area.

He was also able to obtain varieties from Australia and California . After successfully cultivating some 10000 trees, Ferdinando bought a 22ha fruit farm on a gently sloping hill at Huguenot near Paarl.

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