It's Olive Oil Time!
Thanks for waiting patiently for over a year and a half for our 2021 harvest of olive oil! If you’re new here, you might have missed the fact that in 2020 we had an incredibly small crop of olives and decided it wasn’t worth the effort to harvest. This meant we didn’t have any olive oil to sell from about mid-2020 when we sold the last bottle of our 2019 harvest till right now! Even though we had our biggest harvest ever (4 macro bins full!) our yield was just under 50 gallons. That means we’ve got about 250 bottles to share with you. It’s not a ton, but we’re just really happy to have it available again.
Our olive oil is a blend of all the olives harvested on my family’s ranch (or front yard - how lucky!). We have 500 olive trees around 20 years old that were planted by the previous land owner in conjunction with UC-Davis as a research growing site for different olive varieties. There’s between 25-30 different kinds of olive trees, including both Spanish and Tuscan varieties.
Some olives are tiny and grow abundantly on a tree while others are huge but grow sparingly. The high variation also means that some trees are filled with deep blackish-purple olives when we harvest, while those on the next tree might still be green. We think this helps lead to a flavorful, yet balanced olive oil, with butteriness coming from the purple ripe olives and pepperiness coming from the still green olives. Gideon would chime in here and say that this years harvest was on the greener side!
We harvested our 2021 crop of olives on November 16. We were able to complete our harvest in 1 day thanks to the help of a great team and some pretty amazing olive harvesting rakes that we finally got to use.
While some of us harvested olives by hand, other folks walked around power raking trees with our new Infaco rakes and left no olive behind. We’ve used other mechanical rakes in the past, but these new rakes were no joke. They were easy to use and are an incremental step in finding mechanized solutions for making farming easier, even when farming on a small scale.
The number one thing we can tell you about olive oil is use it! Don’t hoard it in the pantry and save it for special occasions only. Enjoy it now at its peak flavor. You may notice some final settling in the bottle, but rest assured, that's natural! Olive oil is not something that gets better with age. Glug it on a simple bowl of our beans. Drizzle it on avocado toast. Fry your eggs in it or make a salad dressing for some winter chicories. With olive oil, the opportunities are endless.
If you’re wondering why our oil only says “olive oil” compared to “extra virgin olive oil”, the answer is simple. We produce such a small quantity of oil that that we don’t feel it’s necessary to get it professionally tasted and scored to determine it’s “extra virginity”. The California Olive Oil Council has put together a good primer on what exactly Extra Virgin means over on their website.
Regardless, our olive oil is free of additives, not blended with any other oils, and is made only from olives that we grow on our farm. Harvest date is on the bottom!
Whole Dried Chile Supply
We have less than 20 bags of whole dried Ancho chiles remaining and about 80 bags of Mulato chiles left from the 2021 harvest. And unfortunately we are all sold out of our whole Espelette chiles.
But! There’s plenty of Red Serrano, Guajillo, Cascabel, and Yahualica chile de Arbol in stock! If you’ve already purchased some of our whole chiles, let us know what you’ve been cooking! We’re always excited to see what folks whip up with our goods. Reply to this email and let us know what you’ve been eating. Need recipe ideas? We’ve collected these recipes to help guide you in cooking with whole dried chiles.
On the Farm
It’s time to get going on the 2022 season here in Boonville. Nacho is starting to seed and germinate the first round of chiles (!!) and, after a disasterous 2021 season we got 6000 new strawberry plants in the ground a few weeks ago. Compost has been added to the olive trees and new drainage ditches have been dug around the chile fields. The sun is shining and it’s warm outside, but we haven’t had rain in over a month which feels a bit concerning now. Regardless, we’re staying busy and are looking forward to seeing the first chiles pop out of the soil.
Stay warm wherever you happen to be and enjoy the sunshine if you’ve got it.
- Krissy and the Boonville Barn Team
What We're Cooking
- Gideon isn’t the biggest fan of soup, but we’ve been making pots of soup a few times a week. Whether it’s Baked Potato Soup with a sprinkle of Comapeño on top or another batch of our Minestra d’Ville, we’re staying warm and cozy on these *chilly* California nights.
- A cookbook that we keep turning to for simple dinner ideas is “Simply Julia” by Julia Turshen. Grab a copy and start making Mustard Cracker Fish, Kale and Mushroom Pot Pie, Ropa Vieja, or Khao Man Gai! Use Piment d’Ville wherever red chile powder is called for and Comapeño instead of cayenne! Julia also offers cooking classes and I’m very excited about the one I signed us up for at the end of the month!
- I didn’t get to it this weekend but have plans to make Dorie Greenspan’s brownies this week partially because I’ve been craving a chocolate cake like situation and also because I’m a sucker for adding our chile powders to chocolate baked goods.