Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Panhandle olive grove produces first commercial harvest

My next purchase... I think I'll try large tree pots, buried halfway. That way, I can keep them on the drier side. Willis has three of the recommended olive trees.
Panhandle olive grove produces first commercial harvest

Don Mueller has spent eight years raising an olive grove from a sandy, secluded piece of ground in the Panhandle’s Jackson County.

That’s 220 trees planted, irrigated and nursed through summer grasshopper invasions and winter cold spells, with only what help he could cajole from friends and in spite of doubts that he would succeed. The work has been arduous, the details that needed minding seemingly infinite.

As hobbies go, it is not the easiest choice for a septuagenarian retiree, even one as robust as Mueller. But ask, and he will tell you he has done it happily, just for the joy he gets out of tending that tiny Mediterranean fruit.

Now, the labor is beginning to pay off in other ways, too. Green Gate Groves is wrapping up its first commercial harvest, ending the season with a modest 200 pounds of olives sold to local buyers.


cindy in FL said...

I'm a couple hours north of you. Thank you for the info on the olives. My friend told me about the guy in the panhandle but could not remember any details. I'll have to check it out.

Debbie Roberts said...

I am not sure which olive type I have, I am zone 8, and it has grown in a pot in a protective area for at least two or three years. It is partial shade, I am afraid if I plant it in the open, in will freeze. Considering this, I want to take it out of the pot, I think it is root bound because it has few leaves. What is your recommendation?