Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Operation Olive Harvest

Information for Olive Harvest Volunteers

What: An olive harvest to benefit Harmony Health Family Resource Center (Yes, we are having a harvest after all, rain or shine, come heck or high water! But please check this website on Saturday to make sure that we have not canceled the harvest unexpectedly and for other possible last minute information)

When: Saturday, December 11, 2010
                 Start Time: 10am
                 End Time:  4pm

Come any time between 10am and 4pm. Please plan to spend at least one or two hours harvesting--or more, if you think you are up for it!

What to Wear and Bring: Olive picking can be messy (and oily), so please wear sturdy old clothes and sturdy shoes or boots. It could be muddy, too. You can pick the olives with your bare hands, but if you can bring any harvesting rakes or harvesting poles or other fruit harvesting equipment, we can probably use it! It would be great if you could bring one or more re-usable shopping bags or plastic buckets with handles to use for picking. You will need to fill out a volunteer packet when you arrive.

Where: 4249 Hammonton-Smartville Road, on the Teichert Aggregates lot.
(See below for directions and map)

Directions from Yuba College: Take North Beale Road west towards Walmart. Turn right on Hammonton-Smartville Road. Take Hammonton-Smartville Road about 5 miles, and when you pass Brophy Road, keep a lookout for the balloons tied to a gate on your left. PLEASE BE CAREFUL as you  make a left turn onto the dirt road at that gate and follow it to the parking area.

(The directions above are not for the quickest route, necessarily, but hopefully the easiest. Check the map below for alternate routes)

View Larger Map

Why?: Well, you'd have to read this entire blog, going back several months, to get the full story, but the short answer is: To make olive oil to be marketed and sold by Sutter Buttes Olive Oil  in order to generate income for Harmony Health Family Resource Center, a community organization that assists families in Linda and the entire Yuba-Sutter area. And also, so some students can earn extra credit... 

Is this another Hanukkah olive oil miracle?: I hope so, but we will see how things go. In my last blog post I indicated that we would not be harvesting this year due to unforeseen circumstances, but then, during Hannukah, I learned that it would, in fact, be possible to have a harvest this year, and I have been trying to plan and organize the harvest within the space of about a week. Hanukkah is a celebration of "miracle" olive oil and the light it can bring during the cold winter months. So hopefully our olive harvest will be "miraculous". If things go really well, we could harvest up to a ton of olives, in which case we could make 20-40 gallons of olive oil. If we are able to sell this oil for about $10 per 250ml bottle, Harmony Health Family Resource Center could earn...well you do the math. See you Saturday I hope!

Imagine: In honor of olives and Hanukkah and peace (and the anniversary of John Lennon's death), here is a video about how Israelis and Palestinians are using olives to foster peace in that troubled region

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