Nestled in the Sacramento valley, our orchards hug the eastern foothills of the Pacific Coastal range in Northern California. The Sacramento Valley provides ideal conditions for growing olives. With our warm summers and mild winters our orchards thrive in a climate similar to that of the Mediterranean. The foothills provide a soil slightly higher in gravel content which helps with water drainage. Olive trees need water but their roots don’t like to be soaked for long periods of time.
Our orchard is comprised of super high density olive trees. These aren’t your grandfather’s knotty, gnarled ancient olive trees. A super high density orchard is exactly what the name implies. Our trees are planted in rows on a trellis similar to grape vines. Each tree is five feet apart with row spacing at 13 feet. We purposefully trim our trees to a height of 8 feet enabling our harvester to drive over the top of each row to pick olives. Imagine a taller, more bushy grape vineyard and you’ll have a general idea of Super High Density….or just look at the picture.
With close to 300,000 trees to look after it’s no small task taking care of our orchard. Being certified organic is something we’re extremely proud of, but it does mean we take a few extra steps in the care of our trees. We’re constantly mowing in between the rows to keep weeds down, no herbicides here. There’s a little pest that can create a big problem for olive growers, aptly named the Olive Fruit Fly. This little guy burrows into the flesh of the olive to lay its eggs, potentially ruining entire crops given the opportunity. Without the use of pesticides management of the Olive Fruit Fly can be difficult, but we have few things working in our favor. With super high density there isn’t much of a shade canopy giving our orchard a hot, dry climate unsuitable for the Olive Fruit fly. Also, our drip irrigation system waters the base of the tree not the entire orchard helping to cultivate that drier climate. AND, drip irrigation aids in water conservation, Double Whammy!!
We always love having visitors and are more than happy to take a walk in the orchards. So, if you find yourself in northern California, about an hour past Sacramento, and have few moments to kill, stop by for a tour and a taste!