20 Sep

Growers say olive oil crop is slipping

By Suzanne Ashe,

Extreme weather, relentless fruit flies and a bumper crop last year have contributed to a meager harvest this fall for Mother Lode olive oil producers.

“The current olive crop (in California) is down 65 percent,” said Tuolumne County Agricultural Commissioner Paul Rainey.

“This is the leanest crop this area has seen in 25 years,” said Dennis Raymond, 60, who founded Sierra Olive Oil Co. in Chinese Camp 12 years ago.

His nephew, Dave Raymond, who makes olive oil for the family-owned business, said the company has pushed its harvest back to mid-November or December this year in hopes of getting even half of what was harvested last year.

According to Calaveras Olive Oil owner Ed Rich, olives trees, much like apple trees, produce hearty fruit every other year. These, he said, are called “alternate bearing” trees.

“We had a great crop last year,” Rich said, noting that he fully expected that this year’s crop would not be as good.
Click Here to continue

Leave a Reply