18 Mar

Farmers strike Olive oil in Texas

By John Griffin,

Farming was always something that interested Jim Henry, when he was younger, he thought Texas would be the perfect place to grow grapes, but the experts told him it was impossible, given the terrain.

More recently, he decided the Lone Star State would be perfect for olives. Again, people called it folly. This time, he refused to listen.

Henry planted olive orchards in Marble Falls, but the naysayers were right: The trees froze to death. Undeterred, he moved south to Carrizo Springs, where he’s planted 40,000 olive trees and introduced Texas Olive Ranch olive oil to the marketplace.

“I didn’t do it to prove people wrong,” he says. “I did it because I thought we could do it, and we are.”

Henry is not alone, there are olive orchards in Houston, Elmendorf, Wimberley, Austin and Dilley, among other areas of the state.

By the end of the year, Henry expects that more than 250,000 olive trees will be planted in Texas soil.

Some will be in small lots of, say, 5,000 or 6,000 trees, while Henry is planting another 100,000 and helping a neighbor plant 50,000.

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