Olive Growing Seminar Returns to UC Davis

About 75 professional and aspiring olive farmers will gather at the Silverado Vineyards Sensory Theater in Davis, California for an olive growing master class hosted by the Olive Center and instructed by several experts.

Feb. 12, 2019
By Daniel Dawson

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The Olive Growing for Oil’ sem­i­nar returns to the University of California, Davis for its sixth edi­tion next month.

The two-day event, which is hosted by the Olive Center, will run from March 15 to 16 and cover a wide vari­ety of per­ti­nent issues for olive cul­ti­va­tion.

The course was well thought-out and timed appro­pri­ately to cover lots of mate­r­ial. The instruc­tors were first class and the best in the busi­ness.- Mike Anderson, pre­vi­ous attendee and California-based olive farmer

Dan Flynn, the exec­u­tive direc­tor of the Olive Center, told Olive Oil Times that he is expect­ing a full house.

Last year we sold out the course at 75 atten­dees and we expect to have the same num­ber of guests this year,” he said.

Registration is cur­rently open and can be done online at the UC Davis web­site. The course costs $549 for both days. Registration ends on March 11.

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See Also: UC Davis Olive Center

Among the top­ics that will be cov­ered are sit­ing, choos­ing appro­pri­ate olive vari­eties, plant­ing the trees, olive nutri­tion, irri­ga­tion design, fer­til­iza­tion, pest and dis­ease man­age­ment, prun­ing as well as man­ual and mechan­i­cal har­vest­ing meth­ods.

Our main objec­tive is to help farm­ers do the right things and pre­vent mis­takes,” Paul Vossen, an instruc­tor on the course and the for­mer University of California farm advi­sor, told Olive Oil Times.

There is a lot of infor­ma­tion out there from many sources and most of the sources have some­thing to sell,” he added. I always prided myself in pro­vid­ing unbi­ased, sci­ence-based infor­ma­tion.”

Over the course of the two days, Vossen will do just that with his co-pre­sen­ter, Leandro Ravetti, an agri­cul­tural engi­neer and tech­ni­cal direc­tor at Modern Olives.

Both have deep expe­ri­ence with the sci­ence of grow­ing olives effi­ciently and prof­itably,” Flynn said. “[And] both have expe­ri­ence in edu­cat­ing a wide range of peo­ple, from small, prospec­tive grow­ers with no expe­ri­ence to sea­soned large grow­ers with decades of expe­ri­ence.”

Vossen will focus mostly on dis­cussing super-high-den­sity pro­duc­tion as well as cop­ing with cli­mate change, while Ravetti will focus mostly on medium-den­sity pro­duc­tion.

Both will address many of the major hor­ti­cul­tural issues with olive pro­duc­tion, from choos­ing a site to estab­lish­ing an orchard to man­ag­ing the crop,” Flynn added.

Mike Anderson, an olive farmer at Quail Lane Olive Farm in nearby Winters, California, attended the event last year. He praised the course and told Olive Oil Times that he learned a lot about dif­fer­ent aspects of olive cul­ti­va­tion as well as picked up some use­ful busi­ness tips.

The course was well thought-out and timed appro­pri­ately to cover lots of mate­r­ial,” he said. The instruc­tors were first class and the best in the busi­ness.”

Anderson is now apply­ing just some of what he learned to his olive groves in an effort to improve his pro­duc­tion yields and olive qual­ity.

Just under­stand­ing the three-year cycle in stem growth and fruit devel­op­ment and opti­mal times to prune was very help­ful,” he said. I am now tak­ing bet­ter care of my younger trees too, by weed­ing near the trunk of the tree, pro­vid­ing more irri­ga­tion and lim­ited amounts of fer­til­izer.”

Flynn said that the Olive Center plans on mak­ing this an annual event. It has pre­vi­ously run on five occa­sions since 2008. He is also look­ing for­ward to the enthu­si­asm that atten­dees, such as Anderson, bring to the event.

We get a lot of energy from the atten­dees,” Flynn said. They come here to learn but we learn from them too.”


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