By Ron Brown,
With Southern Oregon establishing it’s reputation for growing grapes, another warm climate crop is starting to take root.
More than 130 acres between Jacksonville and Medford are the beginning of what some hope will be an olive oil industry in the Rogue Valley.
Olive tree Grower Jeff Hoyal has planted more than 86,000 Greek and Spanish olive varieties he believes are well-suited to this area’s weather and soil.
“We have Koriniki, which is a Greek variety, a very peppery oil. We have Arbisona, which is a Spanish variety and is a very sweet oil. And then we have Arbiqina, which is another Spanish variety, which is a very buttery oil. And all three of them are, historically, create the top quality extra virgin oil that, that you’re really looking for,” Olive Tree Grower Jeff Hoyal said.
The Oregon State University extension service in Southern Oregon is also experimenting with 60 trees in a test plot.