28 September 2020


Pistachio plants don’t require to be fertilized and, especially irrigated – they are cultivated in Sicily where water is a precious resource.
They don’t need special treatment, except pruning once a year, in the period from November to March. In even years, when the harvest is not foreseen, the buds in bloom are removed by hand. This method, called green pruning, forces the plant to develop only vegetative activity, while storing mineral resources for the year to come.

Expected for two years, the harvest is the most important moment for the community. Between the end of August and the beginning of September, locals leave their home in the town and move to lochi (local name for pistachio groves). There everyone, including women, old people and children has his own task in pistachio harvest.
Harvesting is not so easy, walking unsteadily on steep lava soils pickers cling to the branches with one hand, while with the other they pick the seeds off one by one, to drop them into the canvas bag tied around the neck. A maximum of 20 kilos of pistachios are harvested in a working day. Only in plainer lands pistachio can harvest by setting up a tent under the tree.