We knew we wanted to plant olive trees and hunted all over the far north for reasonably flat 15 or so acres in just the right location. We ended up with 25 hectares (65 acres) of cattle grazing land. The attraction was 20 acres of flat volcanic free draining soil perfect for our olive grove. Unfortunately the proposed olive grove was in six paddocks each bordered by old overgrown Barbary bush hedges.
It took the two of us two full years of weekends to clean the place up and plant Leyland Cypress shelter trees. We needed to order our olive trees 18 months in advance from our local nursery (Johnsons Nursery the home of the J5 cultivar olive tree) so they would be established enough at planting.
For 4 more years we watered, pruned, staked and shaped every tree by hand. One year we had such a stormy winter that around 350 olive trees got blown completely over snapping them at the base of the trunks. We replanted and carried on regardless. In the summer of 2006 our son was born so by that time things were starting to come together.
Our first harvest took place in June 2010 and we had other olive growers take what they wanted as there weren’t enough olives to press for ourselves. In 2011 there was such a dry summer that many of the northland growers had olives dropping off their trees before they could harvest them. We did not suffer the same due to our elevation and volcanic soil, so once again we let them harvest our olives to make up for their lost fruit.
In June 2012 we completed our first harvest of 15 metric tons. It was a huge undertaking in just 8 days. The years of hard work had given us the satisfaction of the most delicious Extra Virgin Olive Oil we had ever tasted. We are so proud now to be able to offer you our very own estate grown Extra Virgin Olive Oil. It is very special knowing that the olives are grown without herbicides or pesticides on our own olive grove planted and developed with our own hands.