Wednesday, May 9, 2012

HOUSTON, WE HAVE ARBEQUINA OLIVES

Arbequina Olives close up
What is this, you might ask?  It's a closeup of some olives.  Yes, olives, growing on a tree, in a clay pot, in the back yard!  This is one of several trees I still need to transplant to the farm, just not sure where I want to put it yet.  If it survives in the ground, it is a tree that will last literally for decades and I want to find just the right spot for it out there. 
Arbequina olive in a clay pot
Above is a picture of it in the clay pot where it is now.  It's a large pot, about 18" across, and when I bought the tree it was probably a foot tall, if that.  It's 5 years old now and about 4 1/2 feet tall.  It needs to get in the ground so it can grow to its full potential! 
Closeup of tiny Arbequina olives
Here is a closeup of how they grow, almost like clusters of grapes, and as you can see, in all stages of growth, from tiny to large.  I would assume they produce at various times later in the year.

This is the Spanish, "Arbequina" variety, and is supposed to do well in our Southern climate, which is similar to the climate in the region of Spain that they come from.  In fact, there are a few places here in Texas that produce olive oil and this is one of the trees they use most often.

Without a doubt, having fresh olives at the farm in a few years would be an amazing thing.  In fact, if it does well in the ground, and since it's done well in a clay pot I don't see why it wouldn't continue to thrive in soil where its roots can spread out, several olive trees scattered around the property might be pretty nice.  Not enough for olive oil of course (it takes dozens of trees for that) but wow, I could dream about that all day long!  Having enough to be able to use them in cooking would be great.

17 comments:

Sue said...

When I think of olives , I always think of a mediterranean climate. I guess I didn't realize they would grow in the states. My duh......

Jenny said...

awesome! It's too cold here but I would love to have some really good olives available. After few trips to Italy and Spain I can say the olives we get in our stores are not very tasty so having an option of growing something really great would be fun.

kymber said...

i am soooo jealous!!! i will be trying things like olives, lemons, limes, avacados, etc. when we build our greenhouse. i was successful at growing those things back in our old house in the city in our solarium - certainly not enough to keep us fed throughout the year, but it is always nice to have 4 or 5 of your own lemons to enjoy. good luck with finding a spot for it and please transplant it carefully - i would kill for that tree - bahahahah!

your new friend,
kymber

Frugal Living UK said...

A thriving olive tree would be so amazing. You certainly must have the climate for it. Can't grow any of those lovely things here.

1st Man said...

I never realized it either (well, California of course, but it seems EVERYTHING grows there, ha) Anyway, one day I read about some Texas olive oil farms and this was one variety of tree they used most often. I did a little research and thought, "hmm, it's work a shot" and ordered a small tree. Here it is a few years later doing great. Who knew? Ha.

1st Man said...

Yes, I sure hope it does well in the ground. It's happy in the pot but I'm hoping it's more happy when it can spread it's "feet", ha. I've never had any fresh olives like I can imagine they are overseas, but maybe here in a few months I'll have a few here and in a few years, maybe LOTS! :-)

1st Man said...

Oh, I have an avocado tree too, no fruit yet, but it's in a clay pot too (these are at the house in the city sort of like "specimens" and so I need to get them into the ground now that we have a real place to plant them, ha. I'll be careful, I promise!

And I owe you an email, will work on that tonight!

1st Man said...

I don't know if that's a good thing, ha. The climate is hot and humid, I guess it's a trade off, lol. I bet you have all sorts of lovely things growing there that I could never grow here.

Jane @ Hard Work Homestead said...

Oh Mama! I love me some olives. But alas, the closest I get is a dried up grape with some salt on it ;) That would be wonderful to have an olive grove. I am jealous.

Have Myelin? said...

Every time I see your blog I want to pack up and move in, uninvited but welcomed. LOL!

Hope the olive tree takes off!

Frugal Living UK said...

Wild garlic!

1st Man said...

Amen! I'm trying to figure out a way to do that here! :-)

1st Man said...

Ha, you are too sweet! Thanks!!

1st Man said...

Now that was funny!! I sure hope we get some olives, and you know, when you said olive grove I laughed and thought 'yeah that would be nice', but then I got to thinking of a strip along the driveway where I could put a row of these trees. I might just see what I can do about that. Hey, if someday I have more olives than I can deal with, you'll be first on my list to send a care package too! :-)

becky3086 said...

Wow, I did not know this either! They were selling olives at our feed store this year (I don't know what kind) but I didn't get any because they were just so expensive (I got an equally expensive lemon tree, lol). Anyway, I will see what I can find online. Thanks!

1st Man said...

Yes Becky, I was surprised too! I kind of bought it on a whim, can't even remember where I think I ordered it online, and I figured I'd try and see what happens. I'm guessing since it's in a clay pot and producing, there is no reason it can't work even better in the ground. I'll do some research and see if I can find out where I bought mine. The one thing I know is they don't like overwatering (really, what plant doesn't? ha) but these are more susceptible to that. Our humid conditions here might help in that aspect, keeping it just moist enough. I only covered it once, during a Winter where we got into the upper teens. Not sure what it's supposed to be hardy down to.

Again, this one is called "ARBEQUINA". If you find some, please let us know as well. :-)

Thomas said...

Very cool! I love olive trees but have never been found of the taste of cured olives.