O is for Olive — Insight on California Olive Production VIDEO

California olive farmer Irv LeenLast fall I had the chance to learn a lot about olive production in northern California thanks to farmer Irv Leen of Gold Rush Farms.

Olives on the tree

Although I had seen quite a few olive trees while traveling in Turkey and Israel, visiting Irv’s was the first time for me to be able to visit with an olive farmer on their farm. Yes, I had asked Irv questions on several occassions when we had met at meetings or traded calls, but its amazing how much you can learn when you are on the farm.

I need to put more of this together, but today the focus is on how olives came to California and how different they are there.

Olives were brought to the area by the Spanish as they set up missions. The mission olives are only grown in California now and the micro environments make them grow uniquely from one area to the next. In fact, Irv and Lewis Johnson who presses small batches of olives for oil for Irv and others in the community at Butte View, said that within 10 miles of where we were standing the same DNA looks vastly different.

What questions do you have about California Olives?

I want to write more of what I learned about olives but could use some prompters, what questions do you have?

A to Z Agriculture blog post series

P is for?

I’ve fallen a day behind and need to get caught back up despite traveling so I am in a quandry about what to write.

See the other posts in this series by clicking on the logo at right and reviewing the letters, or by browsing the A to Z ag tag archives.

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About Janice Person

I'm Janice & this blog is about my passions -- photography, travel, agriculture & whatever else comes to mind. Putting all those things together is intriguing to me…. I can spend a lot of time soaking it up! It's almost always a colorful adventure!

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11 Responses to O is for Olive — Insight on California Olive Production VIDEO

  1. Peanut Butter and Whine April 19, 2013 at 12:46 am #

    I love Olives and didn’t have a clue how they got in the can. Thanks!!
    A to Z-ing to the end
    Peanut Butter and Whine

  2. Cotton Boll Conspiracy April 22, 2013 at 12:30 pm #

    I had two questions: Who long does it take an olive tree to reach maturity and begin producing fruit; and how long will a tree produce fruit? I seem to remember hearing that olive trees can produce fruit for many decades, if not longer, but wasn’t sure if that was true.

    Thanks, Janice.

    • Janice Person April 22, 2013 at 1:00 pm #

      Olive trees are amazing! I saw some in the garden of Gethsemane that have been there since Biblical times!

      Irv tells me “An olive tree will reach full production in about 10 to 15 years. I have heard that olive trees in the Middle East are a thousand years old and still producing olives. The super high density hedge rows 3-4 years for full production.”

    • Janice Person April 22, 2013 at 1:11 pm #

      And in case that doesn’t impress ya, Irv just added that the trees on his farm were planted in 1916! 🙂

      • Cotton Boll Conspiracy April 22, 2013 at 2:35 pm #

        Very interesting, Janice. I thought they were productive for a long time, but I had no idea how long. Thanks for the information.


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