Oct 312014

Turkey in TexasThe Spanish invested in the California Olive Ranch now it looks like the Turkish invested in the Texas Olive Ranch.

Two years ago in 2012, Texas business man, Jim Henry, told the world he planned to plant 300,000 olive trees in Carrizo Springs, Victoria, Texas (the article above says 30,000, so who knows). At that time Jim stated he’d produced extra virgin olive oil from 40,000 trees already in production and wanted to grow the olive industry in Texas.

Today Jim announced that he had transferred ownership of his Texas Olive Ranch to a group of Turkish investors. His announcement accompanied this statement, “I’m not a farmer. I’m not sure what I am.” I’m not sure what that means but Olive Crazy is guessing that even though Jim’s Texas table olive and olive oil vision was real, it was probably more expensive than he wanted to handle.

Regardless of how all this turns out in the end, the most lucrative potential market for extra virgin olive oil is in the United States and the supply of US evoo doesn’t come close to meeting the demand. Currently US olive oil and table olive production is in California. Unfortunately for US consumers California has never produced enough to meet demand. Even worse, the drought conditions in California and persistent olive fly problems have caused a number of California growers to pull out their trees in hopes of growing more profitable crops.

Make no mistake, farming is hard work and the unpredictability is tough for many folks to handle. I certainly don’t blame Jim or any of the California olive growers for their business decisions. I wish them and the US olive industry well.

May the sun shine through your branches.


Apr 102012

The Jordan Olive Products Exporters Association (JOPEA) is having its biannual JOTEX aka JOPTEX exhibition on April 25 and 26, 2012 at King Hussein Sports City in Amman, Jordan. Olive producing and exporting companies and olive technology suppliers from Jordan, Italy, Palestine, Turkey, Lebanon and Egypt will be showcasing their products.

Here are the details:

May the sun shine through your branches.


Oct 232011

Every day I read lots of material about the olive, some from books and others from the internet. Each week I share with you the articles, recipes, research documents, and other information I find on the internet. Most of it is very interesting and some of it inspires me to write an article or two of my own. None of these links are in any way my opinion or are endorsed by me. I am sharing.

Olive Links of the Week

Turkey’s olive oil exports expected to reach $5 bln by 2023
Today’s Zaman
New incentives through Turkey’s Ministry of Agriculture are increasing olive and olive oil production.

Recipe: Pan seared sea scallops
This flavorful recipe is courtesy of Chef Parind Vora from Restaurant Braise of Austin, Texas.

International Olive Council Market Newsletter September 2011
International Olive Council
The Market Newsletter provides provisional olive oil data among IOC member producers for the 2010/2011 crop years.

Cutting off the branch you’re sitting on
Israel planning to open olive oil market to competition and local olive oil producers are upset.

Study Recommends Olive Oil Byproduct as Organic Fertilizer
The Olive Oil Times
More information on alperujo.

Tostones con Mojo
Fox 10 TV’s Studio Ten
A vibrant recipe from Momma’s Mojo Cafe & Deli in Mobile, Alabama.

Recipes: Obsessed with olives
Some lovely recipes from Helen Melser, an olive tea drinker from Masterton En Zed. The olives in cheese pastry will go great with beer – mmmmmm.

Paradiso Olive Oils & Vinegars Brings Heavenly Tastes to Redmond
Redmond Patch
Kevin and Shirley Carder open their own (not a franchise) olive oil and condiments store in Redmond, California.

Beyond extra virgin: New standard aims to guarantee quality in olive oil
The Washington Post Lifestyle Section
A great article that “busts” some olive oil “secrets”.

A harvest of tears: Palestinian agriculture continues to suffer as a result of ruthless Israeli policies
Middle East Monitor
Solidarity and the olive harvest in Palestine.

FIORE’s Southern Hemisphere Harvest – Highest Antioxidants Available
Village Soup
The planetary southside’s olive oils get play in Ireland.

Italian comfort food prepared by Amaro Pizzeria and Vino Lounge
Arizona ABC 15
It’s gnocchi my friends. Either you love it (Mr. Olive Crazy) or you tolerate it (Olive Crazy).

Reactions Underscore “Super Premium’s” Long Road Ahead
The Olive Oil Times
Why is it that I always agree and disagree with this writer all in the same article? He’s a spin-master.

Farm to table movement comes to Camden library
Village Soup Herald Gazette
Mainers are eatin’ good.

Israeli settler destruction of 1000s of trees hits Palestinian olive harvest
Malta Today
Palestinian olive harvest down, more to starve, Oxfam weighs in.

Key Ingredient: Olive oil
Washington Post All We Can Eat
I’m in this for the olive oil biscuits – oh yeah!

Five things to do with…fennel
Sydney Morning Herald
I have never cooked with fennel. I guess it’s time to give it a try.

Balloonists seek attorney fees from JCM Farming olive farm
My Desert
You lost your business, you lost your job, now you want attorney’s fees? I bet ole JCM doesn’t agree.

Pumpkin Hummus
CBS Minnesota
I am coming to the conclusion that if you can squish it you can make it into hummus.

May the sun shine through your branches.


Sep 252011

Every day I read lots of material about the olive, some from books and others from the internet. Each week I share with you the articles, recipes, research documents, and other information I find on the internet. Most of it is very interesting and some of it inspires me to write an article or two of my own. None of these links are in any way my opinion or are endorsed by me. I am sharing.

Olive Links of the Week

Even though this event has happened and there isn’t much to read, I love the picture of the three, pretty girls in what my Granny used to call a ‘head rag’. Oh yeah, there’s a picture of a pretty cheese too. From the Olive Oil Times “Slow Food Dairy Event Explores Cheese and Olive Oil Pairings“.

From Exchange 4 Media News Service “Leonardo launches user-friendly labels for its olive oil range” in India.

How about Turkey this year – from PR dot com “Join the Turkish Olive Harvest Dionysos-Style with Exclusive Escapes“.

Star Fine Foods is marketing the Holy Land in Seattle “For California’s Star, Seattle Is Ground Zero in Launch of New Olive Oils” from Market Watch.

Spanish Prosecutors Seek Nine Years in Jail for Three Accused of Olive Oil Fraud” from the Olive Oil Times.

A global conference on olive oil to be held in Australia next month. From Weekly Times Now, “Global olive alliance“. Can the new world order be far behind? It’s a joke.

From Yumsugar “Hassle-Free Smokey Flavor With enFuso Smoked Olive Oil“. I like smoke but just can’t imagine this combo.

From Lexology and the Association of Corporate Counsel “Florida EVOO lawsuits dismissed for inadequate pleading“.

More on the never-ending Israeli-Palestinian saga of olive trees old and new from the Huffington Post Religion section “Global Voices of Nonviolence“.

Breaking Down Free Fatty Acids in EVOO” an interesting article from The Olive Press.

For the world of cabbage lovers who also love olive oil, here are some recipes from The Grand Forks Herald dot com – “ONLINE EXTRA: Cabbage beyond coleslaw“.

I rarely see information about the Philippines and olive oil, much less Argentinian olive oil. From the Bacolod Sun Star “Natural Gourmet Import-Export opens branch in Bacolod“.

This article is included because it was held at the Fig & Olive in West Hollywood. I found it to be interesting. From Reuters news service “Is Hollywood Bailing on Obama?“.

Olive oil taste test results from Kitchen Daily – “The Best Extra Virgin Olive Oil: Our Taste Test Results“. Make sure to scan through the pictures to read the comments.

May the sun shine through your branches.


Apr 252011

Let the B-52s and “big hair” be our musical guides to Mesopotamia and the end of the last Ice Age. In ancient Mesopotamia, which covered parts of Syria, Turkey and most of Iraq, cultivating olives represented life or death, success or failure; and as I’ve shown in previous articles, those sentiments still hold true today. From ancient Mesopotamia to the modern Mediterranean countries their olive industries and olive oil trading positions were and still are worth defending or promoting. It is still life or death, success or failure.

Back when we were kids our teachers taught us that civilization started in Mesopotamia between the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers and that the lands were fertile because of the rivers. The story is partially true and incomplete. For several millennia after the end of the last Ice Age, the now dry areas east and south of the Mediterranean, were fertile, grassy and somewhat forested. There were only a few million people on the whole planet at that time and they foraged for their daily food. Eventually some of the foragers found nice spots to settle down where the year round temperatures were pleasant and less extreme. One of the places people settled was along the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers in Mesopotamia. At the time of initial settlement the land was not as dry as it became. People settled because the area provided easy access to water for large scale farming and both rivers were navigable which allowed for the trade of a variety of foods, goods, and luxuries.

One of the earliest cultivated crops was the olive. From archaeological discovery to mythological legend the earliest olive tree is said to be a thorny bush with insignificant fruit. It is thought that the thorny bush that the early olive grew on was probably cross-bred with other early olive varieties. The other early olive varieties were probably less abundant but with cross-breeding and grafting a new and highly valuable crop was born, and with that, a powerful source of revenue was developed.

The olive, with it’s abundant products, became more valuable over time, as the Earth grew warmer and parts of the Mediterranean grew drier. Agriculture and trade remained sustainable in the former Mesopotamia because the olive was hardy and did well in the changing climate and sometimes saline soils.

No one is certain how we came to have all the cultivated olive varieties we now have but the people of Mesopotamia discovered that the fruit of the olive tree was edible and when pressed, the oil from olives made an easy-burning fuel, a great medium for mixing with other ingredients, a healing and beautifying skin lotion, and lots of other uses. It has even been suggested that early masonry projects, like the Egyptian pyramids were slid into place using olive oil. Certainly olives and olive oil were a major “find” for ancient people and possession of olive trees and olive products came to separate prosperous societies from those that struggled.

From its humble post-Ice Age beginnings in Mesopotamia, the olive and its subsequent industry, has moved far beyond the shores of the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers. The hardy olive and its healthful and valuable crop is circling the globe with olives being commercially grown on all continents but Antarctica. I’d like to thank the early farmers who performed the first olive growing experiments and let them know we will continue to improve and see flourish the world’s olive industry.

May the sun shine through your branches.