Image by Nazar Hrabovyi

Spring Grove

Olive Farm

Photo Blog 

Situated at the foothill of the Diablo Mountain, drenched with California sunlight, and breezy Monterey Bay wind.

 

Summer 2022 Update: Severe Drought in California

Locally, the impact of the drought—which, according to the state, has gone on for 19 years—is that 500 agriculture accounts of the San Benito County Water District (SBCWD) will receive no state water allocations whatsoever this year. 

Our olive grove has received 0% allocation. We were forced to make emergency use of well water to irrigate and save the olives. Because well water pumps do not have enough pressure, we need to undertake a labor intensive watering one row at a time.

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Olive Tree

This is one of the more successful olive trees in our grove. Some trees are growing fast, and some are not. There is no discernible pattern.

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Visiting friends in the neighborhood

Most of Hollister is covered in apricots, and these trees also need a lot of water. Here, I visited friends in the neighbor to learn to make apricot jam, and catch up and hear how everyone is doing.

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Apricot Jam

Halved apricots 
Sugar
Pectin
Canning jars
Boiling water for USDA approved canning

 

Golden State

“Why don't you go on west to California? There's work there, and it never gets cold. Why, you can reach out anywhere and pick an orange. Why, there's always some kind of crop to work in. Why don't you go there?”


― John Steinbeck, The Grape of Wrath

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2019 Winter

Mediterranean climate
dry summers and mild, wet winters

Agricultural Heritage

Home of one-of-a-kind Blenheim apricot

San Benito County

Top commodities:
Row crop vegetables
Nuts and Fruits
Wine Grapes

 

Journey

“It was the best of times...”
― Charles Dickens

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Ranch

2019 Winter

Rule-of-thumb
1.5 to 2 acres to feed a cow calf pair for 12 months

Off the grid

Connectedness

For many parts of rural America, satellite internet is the only way to get connected.

Horse Power

Kubota Tractor

25-47 horsepower
One horsepower equals 33,000 foot-pounds of work per minute

 

The Actual Hollister

"There are those who think that California is a state where Spanish speakers should have natural sway. And there are those who think that this is a state where English speakers have preëminence, and there are those who insist that if we have any sense of history, of decency, the native peoples of California should be given the first seat at the table. And then there are those who have no idea at all about the history of the state and do not care.

But California has always been a state of visitors, of late arrivals, of seekers innocent and not so innocent. Though it might not be good enough for a Hollister clothing outlet, this is the real Hollister, a place where people work hard and sometimes struggle with their past and their present but look with great practicality toward the future."

- Dave Eggers, The New Yorker

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Land Preparation

2020 Spring

Discing the land

Blue Value

San Felipe Water District

An acre foot is 325,851 gallons of water. One acre foot will cover approximately one football field with one foot of water.

Drought

California Water Crisis

Water is the lifeblood of planetary health

 

Super High Density Olive Crops

• Higher productivity per unit of area.
• Fully mechanized harvesting: Increase in speed and efficiency using over-the-row machines.
• High quality of the oil obtained, 100% extra virgin

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Grove

"The traditional Mediterranean diet is characterized by a high intake of olive oil, fruit, nuts, vegetables, and cereals; a moderate intake of fish and poultry; a low intake of dairy products, red meat, processed meats, and sweets; and wine in moderation, consumed with meals.

Among persons at high cardiovascular risk, a Mediterranean diet supplemented with extra-virgin olive oil or nuts reduced the incidence of major cardiovascular events."

Primary Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease with a Mediterranean Diet, New England Journal of Medicine

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Family

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Summer 2020

Cheri and Matt's Apricot Farm

Renovation

Living through a home renovation is like living in the wild.

Varietals

  1. Oliana

  2. Sikitata

  3. Arbosana

  4. Lecciana

  5. Arbequina

  6. Koroneiki

 

Extending the olive branch

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An engineer's blue print

Block 1 and 2 of the olive farm visible
No pesticide or fertilizer used

Coach

"Ride collected"

Feeling of success

No one in Hollister goes hungry

 

'Its the not the Destination, It's the journey.'

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First Harvest First Cold Press

Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Pre-Order Waiting List

Expected deliveries in 2024 or 2025

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