Saturday, February 20, 2010

Getting Healthy at Olive Mill

Olives are good for you. We learned a lot about the health benefits of EVOO, Extra Virgin Olive Oil, on our tour in Queen Creek of the Olive Mill.

Five years ago, Schnepf Farms sold a part of their land to the Olive Mill and owner Perry has made it a destination. The tours are short but very informative. Mary Parker stands next to the Olive Press. At the bottom of the photo is the red valve where the oil drips. To ensure the freshest oil, the olives are pressed within 24 hours of harvesting. This press works for 16-hour shifts during that time. One thousand pound flats of olives go through in a season.

The Olive Mill in Queen Creek has made history by being the first in Arizona to make Extra Virgin Olive Oil. We brought the cookbook to show them. They were impressed and bought a case for their gift shop.

The grounds are lovely for picnics. Forty League members attended the tour and enjoyed the lunch. Jeannie Fletcher and Pam Ryan also announced our overnight tour will be an exclusive visit to Rancho de La Osa in Sasabe. That is a great destination since it started with Father Kino in the late 1600s and has a chapter in Tastes & Treasures cookbook.