When we purchased the grove in 2011, it may have been the oldest continuously certified organic grove on California. The trees were planted in 1935 on 150 acres with three varieties of olive trees, Mission, Manzanillo, and Ascolano. Pictures of this grove are used in our website. The grove in Oroville California was the center of the early table olive industry in Butte County. Freda Ehmann was considered the “Mother of the California ripe olive industry” and her home in Oroville, CA built in 1911 is now a museum.
When the table olive market declines, the olives were used for olive oil and the Sadeg Family ran an olive oil business before selling to Dr. Crea who founded CreAgri Inc who used the olives to develop and process to extract polyphenols form the olive milling waste water. That is where we took over and started our MoonShadow Grove olive oils. In June of 2015 we sold the grove and moved to Paso Robles, in the central coast region of California. We have planted olives on our ranch in Paso Robles but it will be a while before the trees will produce enough olives for our oils.
As part of the sale the organic certification was kept up and we purchased all the olives for the 2015 and 2016 harvest which meant our oils were still from the same trees. After the 2016 harvest sadly the new owner pulled all the trees to plant almonds, a higher margin product. Before that I was able to move 8 of the 80 year old Ascolano trees to our Paso Robles property.
Beginning with the 2017 harvest our olives are now coming from organic groves in the Northern CA regions including Napa and Glenn Counties based on contacts I made while I was in Oroville. When our trees mature we will be switching to oils from our own trees in Paso Robles.