Olives 'n Oil

Stepping it up

It has been a while since I have sat down to write about the latest in the world of Olives 'n Oil. For those who know me I am certain can understand that I like to get my hands in a lot of things. Olives 'n Oil has kept me grounded even though I enjoy being part of the branches and leaves that keep sprouting in my life. 

We have moved into a new home in the same city and planted our traveling Arbequina tree in the front yard. It has grown so many new leaves over the summer which reflects the growth of Olives 'n Oil. Earlier this year Olives 'n Oil started new roots at the Little Elm Farmer's Market and have met so many new friends. The town of Little Elm has proven to have some of the most loyal individuals we have ever encountered since attending Farmer's Markets. 

Olives 'n Oil took the annual trek down to Nacadoches for the Blueberry Festival, watched fireworks over the Prosper sky for the 4th of July celebration, traveled to the large city of Houston to be part of the small town of Fulshear Farmer's Market and attended the first annual Farmer's Market hosted by the resturant that inspired it all. The future events continue to fill the calendar. This has been exciting times for Olives 'n Oil and I can't wait to see where it takes us next!

Written by Roxana Vandermark — September 25, 2015

Time=Change

Progress, right? It is nearly half way through 2014, so much done and so much to complete/accomplish. Olives 'n Oil has attended 8 Farmer's Market events this summer.  We will be attending this Sunday in Fairview and a special trip to the Blueberry Festival in Nacogdoches, TX for Father's day weekend. Keep your eyes on Facebook for the latest Olives 'n Oil adventures at these events... What is really getting the excitement ramped up is the exploratory trip to the San Francisco Bay and Napa area. 

With that, I will be shifting my focus on Extra Virgin Olive Oils from around the USA, California, Georgia and Florida. There is so much to understand about the industry from the differences in Olives and their oil, to the planting, growing and harvesting methods. The health benefits vary as well, variety has always been the spice to life in my book. 

This website will aways be a promotion to the farmer who believes in doing it right in their eyes and being able to keep that focus for generations to come. Good food comes from the heart and encourages the heart to be content with perfection. 

Is it real?

How do you know you will enjoy the taste of real Extra Virgin Olive Oil? For starters, you must be sure it's real. Visit the source if possible, taste it straight out the bottle. Compare the taste of what you thought was real to what you know. For some, there is little difference, for others, the difference could change the way they view a lot of so called "real" products available. It really is a personal choice and preference, and that is all that matters after all. 

This journey actually started at a tequila tasting at a local favorite restaurant. The dining is always true and honest down to sometimes shaky service. The tequila was presented in a true and honest fashion with representatives who were your best buddy within 5 minutes of a friendly smile. The tequila ambassador and master distiller spoke of the source of tequila like it was their life story, which it was in a way. Generations of family and friends working together for one common goal, to support each other the only way they know how, making tequila by hand and being very proud of it. 

Tequila is just one of may products available that has been marketed to suit the needs of a huge industry. The perception can be based on experience that it will always have a certain taste and effect. It is what you believe to be important which is what you will praise and no one should convince you otherwise. 

Written by Roxana Vandermark — January 13, 2014

New Year!!

Ever wonder why schools all across the country start when the summer is winding down to fall and not at the beginning of the calendar year? Some say it is because in very early days children would help with harvesting of crops and the labor was not as necessary as the weather changed into the fall and winter months. Some sources say that the first schools in the United States started in the late 1800s in cities with higher populations and less farming. 

The beginning of a new year has started in the home of Olives 'n Oil with the first baby jumping out the nest to her first year in College. First year of High School for the bean sprout in the middle. Should be a fun year for him and little sis owning their own places in separate spaces.. 

A new year means, new organization in mind and matter. Calendars refreshed, friendships organized, tools resharpened and new habits formed, are all common practices for those looking towards the months ahead. Sounds kinda like New Year's resolutions doesn't it? Good thing that it happens 3/4 the way through the calendar year, gets us ready for the real thing. 

The First Farm

The very first olive tree farm visited was Texas Olive Ranch. It is located in Carrizo Springs, Texas which is about 30 minutes from the Mexico border, two and half hours south west of San Antonio. The farm has 40,000 olive trees, mostly Arbequina, a Spanish variety acquired from California.

Tony, the ranch manager, landscaper, tour guide, equipment maintainer showed us around one early July morning. The temperature was a cool 85ish degrees, prepping for a  90 degree plus weekend. The ground was saturated from a heavy rain the night before. Tony offered to pick us up at the front gate so we wouldn't get our "pretty car" all muddy! With a chuckle, I drove down Olive Road excited that I was in an actual olive farm. 

The informal tour included a view of the farm, an eye opening view of the monstrous tractor style machine used at harvest time to shake the olives from the trees. We were given a step by step lesson of the pressing process that takes place within hours of the olives separating from the branches that shaped them. 

Harvest time is in the month of September in Texas and California. I anticipate an opportunity to be part of the annual ritual which is only a small part of the big story of the olive.

Day Two

Today shoulda been just like any other. As usual, it wasn't. Not sure if it was cause I was completely late for work. I thought I was scheduled for a completely different shift, or cause there was a predicted change at my job. There was this feeling of "oh well" when I finally made it work(two hours late). It was not the usual panic that I woulda expected from myself with making such an amateur mistake in misreading my week. 

Nope, today was particularly different. Maybe cause the sun wasn't blaring down on my windshield as I navigated the familiar north Texas highway anticipating another "hot" one per the talk radio forecast.  Ah, that was it, no country station this AM? 

Perhaps because it was the Friday before things start getting crazy in anticipation for a new school year for the kiddos...one heading to college, one to high school, and one proud baby filling in her siblings' shoes left behind on the middle school track team.

It was the understatement for new independence of making a tiny dream a big reality.  This website finding it's place in the world finally.  The realization that I needed an experienced CS rep to show me the final steps for displaying to the world what it really was all about.  Now, today was the day it starts.

First product!!

You know that feeling of opening a box knowing it is part of the beginning of a new adventure?  That cool toy that you know will change your life forever because there is so much unknown still even though your friends have it, and you have been learning all about it before it landed in your hands?  That feeling was today when I brought home my first cases of Extra Virgin Olive Oil from Texas Olive Ranch out of Carrizo Springs, Texas.

This is the beginning of a new adventure which I anticipate to last as long as the life span of an olive tree.