Olive Crazy: All About Olives and Olive Oil

About the Author


Hi, I’m Mary West and welcome to Olive Crazy, my blog about my favorite old fruit – the olive.

I spent the last three decades as a government relations expert (lobbyist), elected state official (Georgia House and Senate), Army enlisted soldier and officer (Private First Class to Captain), wife (to Tom) and mother of four (three boys and one girl).

During this time I worked and represented clients in many areas. Some of those areas are health benefits, juvenile law, water management, urban heat island mitigation, crops innovation, energy diversification, national security, and software technology. Despite my various experiences and deep love for my family I am plain-old crazy about olives — Olive Crazy.

In my blog, Olive Crazy, I want to share with you my love of all things olive. I cover topics from growing and harvesting olives to cooking with olive oil, from pressing olives to the proper storage of olive oil, and from the health and beauty properties of the olive leaf to recipes for a delicious martini, and much more.

Olive Crazy is for fun and learning. Let’s share what we know, as we explore this old fruit.

Best wishes,



  37 Responses to “About the Author”

  1. Hi Mary.
    Very nice site. I am Christos from Greece. My passion for extra virgin olive oil and olives drove me to establish Mediterranean Olive House in order to introduce worldwide some of the best Oils and Olives from Greece. I would like to ask you to visit our web site and give me your opinion of how is it possinble to enter US market.

    Best regards

  2. Hi Mary,

    Lovely site! I also adore olives and am delighted to see you’ve created a way to share your knowledge and experiences of them. Thank you!


  3. Hi Mary — love your site! I found The Olive Press and was researching whether to buy and saw your great article on them and decided to give them a try. Can’t wait to give it a try.


    Chris (SparkGuy)

    • Thank you Chris. I’m glad I could be helpful. Knowing about the health benefits of olive oil can definitely help Spark some folks to a healthier lifestyle. Obviously, I checked out your website, and glad I did.

  4. Hi there Mary,
    I just came across your very informative website and read the article regarding the Willow Creek “squeeze bottle”. I can confirm that I have seen this “innovation” and managed to find this article if you’re interested as I understand it has also recently won some prestigious packaging award:
    I am also a South African Olive Oil producer although we tend to prefer packaging our EVOO in traditional plain dark glass bottles!


    • Hi Brendon,

      We make olive oil in Spain. Here, too, we use dark glass bottles. I was wondering if you had ever tried packaging that was easier for export?

      regards, Ann

  5. Hi Mary, have just come across your site and thought you might be interested in mine!
    I will send you the article on me in the Olivus.com newsletter. It is entitled “NZ woman obsessed with olives”. I think we would get on well!!!!

    • Helen, I looked at your site. Our thoughts on olives are eerily similar. It is odd but for a month I have been thinking about olives in different ways: jams, desserts, unusual pickles. Then I go to your website (http://www.gourmetolives.co.nz/) and there they were. Brilliant.

  6. Olives are great. We need to create an olive pizza.

  7. You have a lot of energy Mary, and we are glad some of it is poured into olives. Hello Helen!

  8. Awesome blog! Do you have any tips for aspiring writers? I’m hoping to start my own website soon but I’m a little lost on everything. Would you advise starting with a free platform like WordPress or go for a paid option? There are so many options out there that I’m completely overwhelmed .. Any suggestions? Thanks!

    • Thanks. If you have patience choose WordPress, the free version. If you are in it for the long run and don’t have patience then pay.

      My tip for aspiring writers – write often. It worked for me.

  9. OliveBioDiesel.com. If you watch the Australian documentary ‘As the Dust Settles’ it gives a whole new meaning to Olive Bio-diesel. Olive trees live hundreds of years, making olives unique among bio-fuel plants. It is amazing how few people understand the significance of a biofuel tree that lives hundreds, even thousands of years.

  10. About the Author | Olive Crazy Pretty nice post. I just stumbled upon your blog and wished to say that I have really enjoyed browsing your blog posts. In any case I will be subscribing to your feed and I hope you write again soon!

  11. Hi Mary,
    Would like you and growers/produces to have a look at our site. http://www.ecotecfuels.com
    We can convert olive pomace, along with a very wide range of hydrocarbon-based and cellulose-based organic residues, into a fractionated middle distillate fuel oil, at high efficiency and low cost.
    The resulting distillate can easily be further refined into renewable diesel, heating oil or aviation turbine fuel.
    Our pilot project is located near Reno, Nevada at Alcoa Aluminum’s Micromill R&D facility, where we are testing a wide range of feedstock.
    We invite growers and producers to visit.
    We will begin construction of the first production-scale pilot plant this summer.
    Testing in our plant in Germany and now in Spain, using olive crushing residue, indicates a very favorable and efficient rate of conversion.
    Much of our lab work (analyses and validation) is being conducted at University of Nevada Reno.
    Would like to find a grower or processor willing to work with us to develop olive pomace as a commercial feedstock.
    Could you help us locate someone?
    I went to California Olive Growers, but to my surprise they seemed suspicious of us.
    Still waiting/hoping to hear back from them, but in the meantime we assume they are not the only growers in California.
    Can you help?
    Many thanks,
    Jeff Hershkowitz
    EcoTec Fuels
    8th Floor
    200 South Virginia Street
    Reno, Nevada 89501
    775 398 3080 office
    775 287 8188 mobile

  12. Hi, I just hopped over to your site through StumbleUpon. Not somthing I would usually read, but I enjoyed your views none the less. Thank you for making some thing worthy of reading through.

  13. Just found your blog and love it! We, also, love the olive (and good, aged balsamic vinegars) and have opened an EVOO/balsamic vinegar tasting shop on Canton Street in Roswell, GA and will soon be opening a second location in Buckhead on Roswell Road. Both of our locations are supplied by Veronica Foods of whom you are well aquainted with, based on your blog you did on the Branch & Vine. If you are ever in the neighborhood we would love to meet you. In the meantime…. will be enjoying your blog.

    • Hi Suzanne and Deborah,

      I am happy to hear from you. A friend who works for the City of Roswell told me of your opening, and I just had a girlfriend in Roswell ask where she could sample oils for purchase. Her name is Susan and she is on a paleo diet. I don’t know what that means exactly. I would love to meet you both too and will give you a buzz before visiting. Good luck with the new store and thank you for reading Olive Crazy.


  14. Hi Mary,

    Thank you for all of your great work! I’ve been following you for a while and just opened Strippaggio Artisan Oils, Vinegars and Specialty Food at Emory Point in Atlanta. Would love for you to stop by sometime if you are in the area. We’re on Clifton Road directly across from the CDC headquarters.

    Look forward to meeting you in person!

    Celia Tully

  15. Hi Mary,

    I’ve been enjoying your unique take on the olive oil world for quite some time now, and have met a number of people – Australians, Georgians, Californians and others – who admire your work. Thank you for shining a white-hot searchlight of clarity on a number of dark corners.

    All best for a first-rate, and oil-filled, New Year.
    Tom Mueller

    • Thank you Tom. I am honored to have you as a reader, and both enjoy and admire your work as well. My hope is that my light will help illuminate the need for accurate labeling and fresh, delicious, locally-grown extra virgin olive oil for US consumers.

      All my best to you,

  16. Hi, Mary, I have been trying to find out how to invest in olives and olive oil. My internet searches landed me here where it seems you know a lot about olives. 😉 Any ideas? I live in Georgia, so investing my money here would be great since I prefer to invest in the USA but would also be interested in other olive oil investing. Thanks!

    • Berkeley Olive Grove is the historic, largest planting of heirloom Mission olives in the world, preparing for an olive mill on this 400-acre estate which produces organic dry farmed EVOOs that make Best of Show at LA Int’l, Great Olive Oil of the World–5 star with TomMueller’s Extravirginity and TruthinOliveOil.com–and in Italy with Flos Olei. Enormous estate production growth potential + extraordinary opportunity as best contract mill opportunity for one of CA’s best olive regions. Give us a look!
      Darro Grieco

  17. Hi Mary:
    How can I send you some information about the new Olive Oil and Vinegar Boutique at Petite Auberge in Toco Hills Shopping Center in DeKalb, Georgia?

  18. Hi Mary,

    I love your site, great information. I am currently working on a project for a captsone and it is about olive oil. We are looking at ways to educate the consumers about the benefits. I am looking at ways the COOC and NAOOA can be more proactive in washington, any thoughts?


    • Thanks for reaching out. I do but since political strategic planning and lobbying is what I do for a living I would need to be approached from a professional standpoint. I will email you offline with my business contact information.


  19. Dear Mrs. Squires, I am a research student at Georgia State University and a GIS internship led me to research on alternative crops in Southeast GA. My family has a farm, and I just thought it would make the research more interesting. I have now grown quite an interest in growing olives on the farm as a means of making it economically sustainable. It is only about 70 miles from Lakeland, where the Shaw brothers have their farm and mill. I am interested in talking to you about where you found your datasets to perform your research and what some of the important factors may be. I know that rainfall, mintemp, and soil type are important, but was just curious as to your insights. Also, I would like all the information that you may be privy to, in order to begin networking with the people that might actually help us make this happen. I want to present this as a viable alternative to pine trees for future use of the land, but in order to do so, I will have to have my thoughts in order. Thank you so much. Ben Hodges.

  20. Hi Mary, I’m researching a story on U.S. olive oils. Would love a chance to talk to you. Please email me or call at 213-237-6581.


  21. Hi Mary,
    Please look at coachellavalleyfarmwatch.com
    Maybe then you will understand why the farmers in the desert do not like the hot air balloons.
    If you were out here for one week you would see the crap these people pull. Damage to crops and trespassing then they say that the FAA said it was ok to do all of it and get over it.

    Not fair!
    go to you tube. farmwatch farm watch and see the videos for yourself.

    • Thank you, Rick. Did the balloonists give you a written decision by the FAA? Have you checked with the FAA as well? I do know that air rights vary by state even though there is federal jurisdiction too.

      I appreciate you sharing the website with me. I will check out it and the videos.


  22. Hi Mary,
    Just found your website and love all the good information about olive oil that you have there. The public really needs this kind of information. We have an olive farm in California (La Ferme Soleil). I noticed though that in the listings of producers in the California Olive Oil Council, you have our farm, La Ferme Soleil incorrectly listed.
    The website should be: http://www.lafermesoleil.com and the email is info@lafermesoleil.com
    It would be great if you could fix it on your site.
    (you had a slightly incorrect version of my husbands email only.

    Keep up the great work!
    Rita Milner

  23. Hi Mary,
    Just found your website and love all the good information about olive oil that you have there. The public really needs this kind of information. We have an olive farm in California (La Ferme Soleil). I noticed though that in the listings of producers in the California Olive Oil Council, you have our farm, La Ferme Soleil incorrectly listed.
    The website should be: http://www.lafermesoleil.com and the email is info@lafermesoleil.com
    It would be great if you could fix it on your site.
    (you had a slightly incorrect version of my husbands email only.
    Keep up the great work!
    Rita Milner

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