Monday, November 17, 2008

Olives and Their Golden Oil

Homer called it "liquid gold." and that name seems apt.

This week we will start the olive harvest here at the farm. Farmer Al told me this morning that the yield looks great and the fruit quality high. We are expecting to bottle a record amount of the beautiful golden oil.

It's amazing to me that from the little black olives hanging heavily on our trees right now that we will receive such a healthful and versatile oil. And so much of it! I mean, really, the fruit is so small. Olive tree yields depend on the number of trees per acre, proper irrigation, fruit set, pruning and age of trees. But, fruit yield and oil yield do not directly correlate. It seems like the most telling statistic is the leaf-to-fruit ratio. With a high leaf to fruit ratio, the trees produce more oil. Anyway, the bottom line is that a higher fruit yield does not guarantee a higher oil yield. We'll have to wait and see.

The health benefits of olive oil are documented pretty well, however. According to the Mayo Clinic, consuming olive oil reduces your risk for heart disease. Cool! And according to recent research, olive oil also reduces your risk for stomach ulcers. For more on the health benefits go to this link.

Throughout history, olives and their precious oil have been revered and we at Frog Hollow are carrying on in that tradition.

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