In the midst of a 2011 spring break trip to Florida, The Olive Orchard ventured on a day-long excursion to Lakeland, Georgia. With a population of 2,700, Lakeland is located in southern Georgia between Valdosta and Waycross. Why leave the beach to visit Lakeland? To see Georgia Olive Farms with our own eyes.
For the first time in more than a century, a commercial olive orchard is growing in peach state soil. In 2008, the Shaw family planted a conservative 20 acres of olive trees (mostly arbequina). The inaugural harvest will be celebrated in the fall of 2011. Within four years, their goal is to expand to 100 acres. In ten years, 25,000 of Georgia’s 3.3 million acres of cropland may be nourishing olive trees.
Currently, the United States only produces enough olive oil to meet 1% of our rising demand. Having savored EVOO from dozens of farms around the world, The Olive Orchard looks forward to experiencing the unique personality of Georgia olive oil. Much like fine wine, there are as many flavors of extra virgin olive oil as there are olive varieties, growing regions and production methods.
Thank you to Sam Shaw and family for the gracious tour of Georgia Olive Farms. We wish you much success!
Georgia Farmers Banking on Olive Groves
Washington Post [ 9/21/10 ]
Georgia Farmer Begins Olive Production
Georgia Farm Monitor [ 9/30/11 ]