By Susan Zamudio-Gurrola
The latest, freshest batch of Santa Inés Mission Mills Olive Oil arrived at La Tiendita, SBTHP’s gift shop, just in time for the holiday season. The olives were harvested during the last few days of October at our Santa Inés Mission Mills property by dedicated staff members and volunteers – some of them making the trek to the valley to toil away on a Sunday. Nearly 300 pounds of olives were harvested, which in turn yielded a precious five gallons of Olio Nuovo. This was a considerable reduction from previous years’ harvests. However, when Wayne Sherman, our steward for the Mission Mills site, delivered the harvest to the miller he learned that we had the second largest crop in the area due to Southern California’s recent troubles with weather and water.
We were excited to receive this limited supply, which we refer to as “Olio Nuovo,” or new oil. This first press of the season will actually be the only oil we bottle this season. So buy local! Stop by La Tiendita today to pick up a bottle. Enjoy its flavorful intensity, knowing that the oil’s freshness contributes to its health benefits. Our olive oil has not traveled long distances to be stored in warehouses, waiting to be moved to grocery store shelves. You will also be supporting SBTHP’s ongoing preservation efforts of the historic Santa Inés Mission Mills site.
Special thanks to Shawn Addison of Figueroa Farms for milling the olives at a discounted rate for this non-profit organization. Another big thank you goes out to Olivos Del Mar for their assistance bottling the oil. A special mention must also be made regarding the beautiful artwork on the label, which was developed from an oil painting done by Ron Guthrie during a “Pick and Paint Day” hosted at the Mission Mills site during the Fall of 2013.
Susan Zamudio-Gurrola is the shop manager and education assistant at the Santa Barbara Trust for Historic Preservation