A Time to Plant Olives



Olive cultivation in Florida dates back to at least the late 18th century, with groves having been established near New Smyrna in about 1770. Modern cultivation techniques with specially selected strains are currently showing great promise in various areas of the state. Large groves are also thriving in southern Georgia. Olives are more drought and cold tolerant than citrus; promising a bright future for this crop.



Olive trees are beautiful as a landscaping tree; their spreading branches and evergreen foliage offering shade throughout the year. They are also useful for trouble areas, as they thrive in sandy, well drained soil; if you have a bare patch in your yard, plant an olive tree and watch it take off!



Olive oil is growing in demand as the health benefits are being discovered by the American consumer. Recent studies have shown unparalleled benefits of olive oil in the diet:

    1    Consumption of olive oil decreases the risk of heart disease in both men and women by decreasing both LDA cholesterol and total cholesterol levels in the blood.

    2    Olive oil contains a natural analgesic, and has been shown to reduce the inflammation and pain associated with all forms of arthritis.

    3    Recent studies have shown a decreased incidence of colon cancer in people who include olive oil in their diet.

    4    Studies also indicate that olive oil may reduce oxidative stress of the liver (such as that caused by exposure to toxins).

As transportation costs rise and consumer demand rises, the price of domestically produced olive oil is poised to jump accordingly. Olive oil produced in California is now among the top rated in taste and quality in the world, bringing a premium price.



Traditionally olives were grown in a tree spacing of about 20ft between trees and largely harvested by hand. In the 1990s in Spain, a new technique of cultivation was developed; known as SHD (Super High Density), it involves the planting of trees on a 4ft to 6ft spacing in rows 13ft apart. With regular topping and spacing, this hedgerow of trees can be harvested using commercial grape picking machines. Yields of about 200 gallons of oil per acre are reported using this technique. With 55 gallon drums of oil (extra virgin) wholesaling at near $3000.00 and certified organic oil bringing a much higher price, good profits are to be had.

3 Year Old High Density Olive Grove Georgia

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