The 2015 Olive Odyssey – Part 2

by Michael Imwalle

Gordon Sichi and the Anacapa School “Olive Pirhanas.” Photo by Mike Imwalle.

On October 19th more than 30 volunteers joined a crew of six professional olive pickers to pick the 2015 Santa Inés Mission Mills olive crop. Santa Barbara Trust for Historic Preservation  staff, Board, a team from the Anacapa School, and community volunteers gathered on a mild Sunday morning to pick the remaining Manzanillo and Mission variety olives from perimeter of the State Park property and the Mission grove. Santa Inés Mission Mill property steward Wayne Sherman noted that the team from Anacapa School was so efficient they went swarming from tree to tree like “olive pirhanas.”

Close-up of 2015 fruit before processing. Photo by Mike Imwalle.

Combined with the Italian varietals picked from the Rasmussen and Mill groves we harvested almost three tons of olives. On Monday morning October 20th our olives were crushed into 101.6 gallons of Extra Virgin olive oil. That converts to almost 86 cases of 12 – 12.5 oz bottles.

“Liquid Sunshine” 2015 Olio Nuovo. Photo by Michael Imwalle.

The first twenty cases is being bottled as our 2015 “Olio Nuovo” or new oil. Olio Nuovo is the first press of the season. It is bottled unfiltered, immediately after crushing, and has an intense grassy, peppery fresh flavor. It is loaded with polyphenols, making Olio Nuovo the healthiest oil available from each harvest.

Produced from a blend of Arbeqina, Grappalo, Lucca, Manzanillo, and Mission olives, this special early release is available for a limited time. This year’s oil has been bottled and is being delivered today! Order yours online or pick some up in the museum shop at El Presidio de Santa Barbara State Historic Park. It sells for $15.00 retail ($12.00 for SBHTP members) and $108.00 per case of 12 wholesale.

Mike Imwalle, Paloma Longo, and Zane Longo collecting olives from the pickers. Photo by Mike Imwalle.

Michael Imwalle is the archaeologist at the Santa Barbara Trust for Historic Preservation


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