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.