Friday, September 24, 2010

Olive Oil From the Land of . . . . Georgia?

This was news to me. There are actually farmers in southern Georgia (some 20 miles east of I-75) who are hoping to find a market for olive oil produced from olives grown on their farmland.

As it turns out, olive groves used to exist in this area of Georgia, but a hurricane more than a century ago destroyed what had been left of dwindling olive trees. In this article, the Washington Post explained what prompted one of the farmers to start growing olives:
Generations of Shaw family farmers in Lanier County have grown cotton, peanuts and corn. But in 1996, Lakeland (Georgia) native Jason Shaw returned from a trip to Verona, Italy, where he had been struck by the sight of prolific orchards, and said, "We ought to grow olives in Georgia."

... Now 12 farmers and a small army of extension service agents and horticulturalists are tending 95 acres, spread over seven Georgia counties south of Atlanta that fall in the South's "olive belt," a zone with a climate conducive to growing the cold-resistant types.
I look forward to tasting Georgia olive oil. As they say, the proof is in the pudding.