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Friday, October 29, 2010



 Olive season is fast approaching. My olives are just starting to turn color, and I will wait till the Arbequeno varieties have turned dark purple before plucking them from their limbs.  Its seems like the grapes are barely off the vine, then its the turn of the olive.  According to an online definition, it is a stone fruit - "fleshy indehiscent fruit with a single seed: e.g. almond; peach; plum; cherry; elderberry; olive!"  AHA!  Just because it doesn't fit the definition we think of as a succulent, sweet fruit (just think, tomato) doesn't mean it isn't, as we now know.  The olive thrives in a dry mediterranean climate and lives for hundreds of years.  It is a delicious savory, briny fruit after curing or crushed into a tasty oil used all over the world for everything from cooking to soap. 

I think we often forget where our food comes from and how difficult it might be to farm, I know I do.  What could be more important than feeding and sustaining ourselves with delicious foods, no less.   Last year and the year before I helped friends harvest grapes and though I was tired at the end of the day, it was great to be outside, with a group of people, sharing a common goal.  

I get excited when harvest is in process.   The trucks are trolling around with loads of fruit from the field to a winery for crushing.  The tractors are working the fields and the smell in the air is fertile and fucund.   I love some of these old processes of farming and preserving, as we have lived this way for centuries, we know it still works.....and the continuum gives me some hope that our planet is healthy and doing well.

Please check out this video of Olive Harvesting, the old way......Its inspiring!

If you or anyone you know would like to help harvest....I know lots of people here in Sonoma or Napa who would be happy to have your help.  Right now, the vine crush is almost over, but there are a few more grapes left to pick and then, in another couple weeks or so, the olive harvest will begin. 

I copied this list of Farm Stands from Apartment Therapy Kitchn.  Look for these resources in your area.  Keep healthy and happy!  Happy Cooking!  Tricia

State Resources

Alabama - Farmers Market Authority

Alaska - Food & Farm Products Directory (contact individual farms to inquire)

Arizona - See General Resources below

Arkansas - Arkansas Agritourism

California - California Agricultural Tourism Directory

Colorado - Colorado Farm Fresh Directory

Connecticut - Connecticut Department of Agriculture

Delaware - Farm Market Directory

Florida - Agricultural Business Search

Georgia - Local Food Guide & Georgia's Creative Economies

Hawaii - Hawai‘i Agriculture & Food Products Database

Idaho - Idaho Preferred

Illinois - AgriHappenings

Indiana - Indiana Farm Direct

Iowa - Iowa Fruit and Vegetable Growers Directory

Kansas - Simply Kansas

Kentucky - Buy KY Products

Louisiana - Farmers Markets & Roadside Stands

Maine - Get Real. Get Maine!

Maryland - Maryland's Best

Massachusetts - Massachusetts Association of Roadside Stands

Michigan - Michigan Farm Fun

Minnesota - Minnesota Grown

Mississippi - Mississippi Agritourism

Missouri - AgriMissouri

Montana - Food & Beverage Directory

Nebraska - Nebraska Our Best To You

Nevada - Nevada Grown

New Hampshire - New Hampshire Farm Stand Directory

New Jersey - Jersey Fresh

New Mexico - See General Resources below

New York - Farm Fresh Guide

North Carolina - NC Farm Fresh

North Dakota - See General Resources below

Ohio - Ohio Proud

Oklahoma - Oklahoma Agritourism

Oregon - Oregon Farm Bureau Farm Stand Guide

Pennsylvania - Visit PA

Rhode Island - Farm Fresh RI

South Carolina - SC Department of Health and Environmental Control

South Dakota - Dakota Flavor

Tennessee - Pick TN Products & Local Table (Middle TN)

Texas - Go Texan

Utah - Utah's Own

Vermont - Buy Local, Buy Vermont

Virginia - Virginia Grown

Washington - Washington State University Small Farms Team

West Virginia - Foods & Things Producer Guide & Directory

Wisconsin - Wisconsin Fresh Market Vegetable Growers Association

Wyoming - See General Resources below

1 comment:

Sandra said...

My mother in law's family have huge farm with only olives. Just last year she went to visit them and she told me that they did harvest olives old fashion way which is wonderful experience, and great memories for whole family!