George and Sheri Braun had talked of having an olive grove for over a decade but never considered the possibility of their idea growing on Canadian soil until they explored the fertile Fulford Valley on Salt Spring Island. Sheri came to Salt Spring as a child, as her mother was born there and her grandfather, Stanely Wagg, was the manager of the General Store in Ganges, now JJ Bean Coffee house. Her mother was born and raised in a little house on main street, Ganges in what is now a retail shop that sells various wooden carvings. George and Sheri visited Salt Spring Island together as teenagers and have a photo of themselves at the top of Maxwell Mountain, with what one day would be their farm, laid out in the valley below. The challenge and hope that SSI would be fertile enough to allow an olive grove to flourish seemed like a perfect fit and a natural place to call home.
George and Sheri lived much of their life in Cochrane, Alberta - not the most fertile of growing environments! From there they went on to Kelowna where they had a cherry orchard but the dream of an olive grove eventually brought them out to Salt Spring Island.
Olive trees take a long time to mature and produce fruit, especially the quantity of fruit needed to press oil. Our trees are nearing seven years old and the first harvest was a wonderful success. We are busy on the farm and looking forward to our third harvest in late 2018.
Please check back often to follow along on the progress of our trees and olives!
The hope for the future of The Olive Farm is that we will have continue to have successful, annual harvests and each year the amount of olives and oil pressed will increase. We are so thrilled that we have begun to share our oil with the world and have been so thrilled at the response and excitement that has been generated from our 2016 harvest. We are busy doing all we can to continue to dream that we have started.
By now you know we are passionate and excited about what our farm will bring us in the near future. We would love to hear from you if you have interest in our project or want to follow along on our upcoming adventures! Email, call or follow us on Instagram @theolivefarm to find out how our trees (and everything else) are coming along.