- The Plate
A Calif. Olive Oil Maker Thrives, Despite the Drought
California is in the middle of a historic drought, but nearly half a million olive trees are thriving in the state. What’s more, the trees have been planted on land previously used to grow crops that required thousands of gallons of water.
The olives are being grown by California Olive Ranch (COR), which manages over 14,000 acres across Northern California. CEO Gregg Kelley says before olives, much of the land was being used for unsustainable agriculture. An example of that—the west side of the Sacramento Valley was previously planted with rice. “That land is in a very marginal water district,” Kelley says. Rice prefers to grow in clay soil that limits water percolation “We were able to take that ground and