Jun 252014
Drought-stricken California

Drought-stricken California

On the east coast of the United States we take California’s massive contribution to our tables for granted. Lately is seems like there is an article every day about the increase in food prices due to the drought conditions in California and other western food production states. Usually the articles focus on celery and beef even though there are many other, and more popular, food items effected by the climatic conditions out west.

Here is a video and article about how the drought is effecting olives in Central California. Meet Art Kishiyama. He is a grower in Paso Robles, owning Olio Nuevo, and the President of the Central Coast Olive Growers. Even though I live and grow olives in Georgia, I am a member of the CCOG. They are a great group of folks who are interested in growing olives and putting out excellent olive oil.

From KSBY television in San Luis Obispo, California “Exceptional drought making no exceptions for drought-resistant olives.”

May the sun shine through your branches.


Nov 012012

Beginning this Saturday, November 3rd and extending throughout the month of November the Pelican Hill Resort will be featuring Italy-themed festivities. It’s all in celebration of the olive harvest.

Pelican Hill Resort is located just south of Newport Beach which is south of Los Angeles.

Pelican Hill expands harvest festival | resort, olive, lama – The Orange County Register.

May the sun shine through your branches.


Oct 122012

Early morning on the UC Davis campus. The waning moon through olive branches.

May the sun (and moon) shine through your branches.


Aug 212012

I originally began writing this article while sitting in the Sacramento airport after an enlightening week in California. I arrived at the airport early, dropped off my rental car, checked my bag, went through security, found my gate, and opened my laptop. After half an hour of typing, a cell phone rang. Its owner yelled “Halloooo” into it. For what seemed like an eternity the speaker entertained and annoyed two gates worth of travelers with her loudly pronounced opinions and prognostications about a north Georgia political race.

Normally, I would be interested, since it was politics and I might be able to learn some details I could share with others. But no, her banter was just gossip, not worthy of intelligence gathering.

I turned to look at the woman who did not seem to have confidence that her cell phone could relay her conversation along its bandwidth. I was stricken. She looked just like me and was even dressed similarly to me. I turned back around in my seat and stared at the blank wall ahead. As I stared pride, ego, and vanity made a visit. What if people think I am her, I thought. Reacting to some of the seven deadly sins taking charge of my brain, I turned in my chair again.

“Excuse me. Excuse me.” I said, arm extended and fingers fluttering. “You are talking way too loudly.”

“Oh, I’m sorry,” said my twin southern sister.

“Thank you,” I said repositioning myself in my chair.

The ladies next to me thanked me and returned to their books with sighs of relief. Me, I felt kind of crappy. I thought about my motivations. Even though what I did appeared to be justified, I knew I should have handled the situation better. The bad manners of another did not justify mine. I resolved to print out a copy of the seven deadly sins and tape it up where I can reflect on these easy-to-employ misbehaviors.

In preparation for boarding, I closed my laptop and popped an Advil PM. Once in the plane, I closed my eyes and dreamed of heat and olive trees and new acquaintances. I woke up in Atlanta snuggled up to the arm of the man who sat next to me. I apologized and he forgave me, promising not to tell his wife.

May the sun shine through your branches.


Jun 102012

A few weeks ago I opened my email and there it was, another taste-testing class opportunity at UC Davis. I read all about it and then pondered whether or not to attend. Finally I mentioned it to Mr. Olive Crazy. Instead of sympathy for my problems (see my article “My Dark Secret“) he just called me a wimp.

I have a physical reaction to nasty foods and flavors and am terrified that during the negative-attributes tasting I will embarrass myself.

Here is the transcript of our conversation:

OC: There’s a Sensory Evaluation Master Class at UC Davis on July 27 and 28. It looks interesting.

Mr. OC: (not looking up from the ESPN app on his iPhone) You’re really thinking of going?

OC: Wellllll. I don’t know.

Mr. OC: (still looking at baseball scores) You’re a wimp.

OC: (temporarily stunned since I’ve never been called a wimp) But, but I …

Mr. OC: (passionately jabbing his phone screen) I thought you wanted to take the UC Davis Milling Courses this fall?

OC: (now sensing a trap) Yeah?

Mr. OC: Don’t millers taste the oil they’re producing?

OC: Well yeah.

Mr. OC: (looking up from his phone) So go sign up. I’ve been looking for a flight for you.

Conceding defeat to my left-brained husband who knows me very well, I went straight to the computer and signed up. I wondered if I should pinch a few air sick bags from the plane when I arrive or if one would be enough.

May the sun shine through your branches.