Here's a story from yesterday's Sac Bee about the growing trend of growing olives in California.
I was fascinated that California farmers are planting olives, a drought resistant crop, in intensive ways (for machine harvest) that seem to negate some of the value of drought resistance. Thus more affordable California olive oil is not necessarily the best thing from a sustainability perspective. But who can afford the boutique oil prices?
Perhaps we should grow our own. Should community gardens be putting in a few olive trees? Should we bring back the idea of a communal press, where folks can take their back yard olives?
A few interesting statistics:
97% of the olive oil consumed in the USA is imported - and not all of it is what it seems.
98% of olives grown in the USA are grown in California - though other states are growing more.
4% of California olives were destined for oil in the '90s, but in 2012 it was 46%.