Category Archives: Santa Inés Mission Mills

The 2016 Epic Olive Odyssey

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Trust staffers Kevin McGarry (l) and Sue Udden (r) picking Italian variety olives. Photo by Mike Imwalle.

by Michael Imwalle

On October 22nd, a group of twenty-five volunteer pickers joined Santa Barbara Trust for Historic Preservation staff to harvest the 2016 Santa Inés Mission Mills olive crop. SBTHP staff, board, and community volunteers gathered on a mild Saturday morning to pick the Italian varietals Arebequina, Lucca, and Grappolo variety olives. Santa Inés Mission Mills Agricultural and Maintenance Supervisors Leeann Haslouer and Tom Walton spearheaded the effort that yielded almost 1000 pounds of olives. On Wednesday October 26th, a team of professional pickers picked the Manzanillo and Mission varieties in the Rasmussen and Mill groves.

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Barbeque lunch for volunteers prepared by Tom Walton. Photo by Kevin KcGarry.

By the end of the week we harvested almost four tons of olives. On Friday October 28th, the folks at Figueroa Farms crushed our olives into 120.9 gallons of Extra Virgin olive oil. That converts to almost 120 cases of 12 – 12.5 oz bottles.  The following Monday, the oil was delivered to Olivos del Mar for storage and bottling. The first forty cases were bottled as our 2016 “Olio Nuovo” or new oil. Olio Nuovo is the first press of the season. It is bottled unfiltered, immediately after crushing, and has an intense grassy, peppery fresh flavor. It is loaded with polyphenols making Olio Nuovo the healthiest oil available from each harvest.

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The first forty cases of Olio Nuovo being delivered to El Presidio de Santa Barbara State Historic Park gift shop. Photo by Mike Imwalle.

Produced from a blend of Arbeqina, Grappalo, Lucca, Manzanillo, and Mission olives, this special early release is available for a limited time. This year’s oil has been delivered and is available today! Order yours online here, or pick some up in the museum shop at El Presidio de Santa Barbara State Historic Park. It sells for $15.00 retail ($13.50 for SBHTP members).

For more great photos from Olive Picking Day 2016, visit our Flickr Album here.

Michael Imwalle is the Associate Executive Director for Cultural Resource Management at the Santa Barbara Trust for Historic Preservation. 

The 2015 Olive Odyssey – Part 2

by Michael Imwalle

Gordon Sichi and the Anacapa School "Olive Pirhanas." Photo by Mike Imwalle.
Gordon Sichi and the Anacapa School “Olive Pirhanas.” Photo by Mike Imwalle.

On October 19th more than 30 volunteers joined a crew of six professional olive pickers to pick the 2015 Santa Inés Mission Mills olive crop. Santa Barbara Trust for Historic Preservation  staff, Board, a team from the Anacapa School, and community volunteers gathered on a mild Sunday morning to pick the remaining Manzanillo and Mission variety olives from perimeter of the State Park property and the Mission grove. Santa Inés Mission Mill property steward Wayne Sherman noted that the team from Anacapa School was so efficient they went swarming from tree to tree like “olive pirhanas.”

Close-up of 2015 fruit before processing. Photo by Mike Imwalle.
Close-up of 2015 fruit before processing. Photo by Mike Imwalle.

Combined with the Italian varietals picked from the Rasmussen and Mill groves we harvested almost three tons of olives. On Monday morning October 20th our olives were crushed into 101.6 gallons of Extra Virgin olive oil. That converts to almost 86 cases of 12 – 12.5 oz bottles.

"Liquid Sunshine" 2015 Olio Nuovo. photo by Michael Imwalle.
“Liquid Sunshine” 2015 Olio Nuovo. Photo by Michael Imwalle.

The first twenty cases is being bottled as our 2015 “Olio Nuovo” or new oil. Olio Nuovo is the first press of the season. It is bottled unfiltered, immediately after crushing, and has an intense grassy, peppery fresh flavor. It is loaded with polyphenols, making Olio Nuovo the healthiest oil available from each harvest.

Produced from a blend of Arbeqina, Grappalo, Lucca, Manzanillo, and Mission olives, this special early release is available for a limited time. This year’s oil has been bottled and is being delivered today! Order yours online or pick some up in the museum shop at El Presidio de Santa Barbara State Historic Park. It sells for $15.00 retail ($12.00 for SBHTP members) and $108.00 per case of 12 wholesale.

1.Mike Imwalle, Paloma Longo, and Zane Longo collecting olives from the pickers. Photo by Mike Imwalle.
Mike Imwalle, Paloma Longo, and Zane Longo collecting olives from the pickers. Photo by Mike Imwalle.

Michael Imwalle is the archaeologist at the Santa Barbara Trust for Historic Preservation

The 2015 Olive Odyssey – Part 1

by Michael H. Imwalle

Wayne Sherman, mills steward. Photo by Mike Imwalle.
Wayne Sherman, mills steward. Photo by Mike Imwalle.

After a very low yield of fruit in 2014, the Mission grove, Mill grove, and Rasmussen grove are producing nicely this year at the Santa Inés Mission Mills. Today Santa Inés Mission Mills Steward Wayne Sherman and I began the first olive picking of the 2015 season. Despite the fact it was well over 100⁰, we picked a small quantity of green olives destined to be cured as table olives. With the warm weather of the last couple of weeks the fruit is beginning to ripen faster than we anticipated and much of the fruit has already turned yellow/gold, and some are starting to turn purple.  Wayne and I spent the morning sorting through the largest, greenest Mission Olive variety. Wayne is going to prepare them in three flavors of brine using the cracked Sicilian style of curing. Look forward to tasting these beauties at Santa Barbara Trust for Historic Preservation functions early in 2016!

Rasmussen grove of olive trees. Photo by Mike Imwalle..
Rasmussen grove of olive trees. Photo by Mike Imwalle..

The remainder of the fruit will be picked during the upcoming annual Volunteer Olive Picking Day on October 18th at the Santa Inés Mission Mills property. We anticipate yield of at least two tons of fruit, which will be milled into oil at nearby Figueroa Farms. The olives should yield fifty to sixty cases of very high quality extra virgin olive oil to be sold to support the development of the Santa Inés Mission Mills property. We should have Olio Nuovo in the gift shop by Thanksgiving this year! Olio Nuovo is bottled unfiltered, immediately after crushing, and has an intense grassy, peppery fresh flavor loaded with polyphenols, making Olio Nuovo the healthiest oil available from each harvest. Produced from a blend of Arbeqina, Grappalo, Lucca, Manzanillo, and Mission olives, this special early release will be available for a limited time.

Mission grove of olive trees. Photo by Mike Imwalle.
Mission grove of olive trees. Photo by Mike Imwalle.

We need your help! In addition to olive pickers on our upcoming volunteer day, we also need help doing general maintenance around the historic mills and reservoirs. If you are interested in picking olives or the preservation of the Santa Inés Mission Mills at this year’s Volunteer Olive Picking Day please contact Christa Clark Jones at (805) 966-1279 or by email at christa@sbthp.org.  You can get more information and directions to the site at SBTHP’s website here. Stay tuned for 2015 Olive Odyssey Part 2 to see pictures of the Olive Picking Day and find out how you can order your 2015 Santa Inés Mission Mill Olio Nuovo!

Mike Imwalle with olives destined for brining.  Photo by Mike Imwalle.
Mike Imwalle with olives destined for brining. Photo by Mike Imwalle.

Mike Imwalle is the Archaeologist and staff olio nuovo taster at the Santa Barbara Trust for Historic Preservation.

 

 

 

Olio Nuovo is Here!

By Susan Zamudio-Gurrola

Olio Nuovo winter 2014-2015 (800x600)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.

SBTHP Executive Director Jerry Jackman picking olives at the Santa Ines Mission Mills.
SBTHP Executive Director Jerry Jackman picking olives at the Santa Ines Mission Mills.

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

Santa Inés Mission Mills Provides Limitless Inspiration at Kids Art Day

by Christa Clark Jones

“The artist’s world is limitless. It can be found anywhere, far from where he lives or a few feet away. It is always on his doorstep.” ~Paul Strand

Families enjoying art activities at the Santa Ines Mission Mills.  Photo by Christa Clark Jones.
Families enjoying art activities at the Santa Ines Mission Mills. Photo by Christa Clark Jones.

On Saturday, July 26, kids and families were invited to a Kids Art Day at the Santa Inés Mission Mills, hosted by the Elverhoj Museum of History and Art in partnership with the Santa Barbara Trust for Historic Preservation as part of a celebration of the Mission Mills property.  On this serene day the natural beauty and history of the site offered abundant inspiration.

Leaving the entrance at Alamo Pintado Road, kids and families crossed a creek and passed by an olive grove.  After being immersed in the sun on a short journey to the mills, they found refuge under some trees where instead they explored and documented the site with their imagination.

One participant's watercolor of the olive groves. Photo by Christa Clark Jones.
One participant’s watercolor of the olive groves. Photo by Christa Clark Jones.

Project stations offered several hands-on art making activities, led by local artist and teacher Faith Nygren. They learned how landscape painters create composition, and using a viewfinder to isolate a picture, they created landscape paintings with watercolor. At another station they made solar prints from composition designs that included plant life found at the site.

Taking a break from their artwork, Mission Mills property steward Wayne Sherman led a tour of the mills, one of the earliest industrial sites in California, and surrounding property.

Sun prints made from nearby plants. Photo by Christa Clark Jones.
Sun prints made from nearby plants. Photo by Christa Clark Jones.

After a memorable day exploring this unique place and learning about the history of the site, perhaps their experience will inspire them to cultivate their creativity and find inspiration anywhere, both on adventures and even feet away from their doorstep.

Enjoy the newest exhibit at the Elverhoj Museum of History and Art, “Art from the Groves – Santa Inés Mission Mills” celebrating the Santa Inés Mission Mills property. The show features the artwork of 26 jury-selected artists and their interpretation of the site, on display through September 28.  Who knows, maybe the artists who attended the Kids Art Day will be featured in future exhibits!

For more information about the “Art from the Groves – Santa Inés Mission Mills” events and activities, visit www.elverhoj.org.

Artists Paint the Santa Ines Mission Mills

by Wayne Sherman

Exactly one year ago SBTHP held its first “Art from the Groves” artist’s day in partnership with the Elverhoj Museum of History & Art at the Santa Inés Mission Mills site.  The artists returned for our “Pick ‘n Paint” Volunteer Harvest Day this past November and on Saturday, April 12th, 2014 the SBTHP and Elverhoj Museum held the final chance for artists to transfer their impressions of the Mill Complex and nearby environs to paper or canvas prior to a Juried Art Exhibition to be held at the Elverhoj Museum in Solvang from June 14th until September 28th, 2014

This past Saturday about 28 artists of various mediums attended and enjoyed their chance to photograph/paint/draw the historic site. The photographers rejoiced at the overcast morning as it was “as if the whole scene were in a giant light-box.” When more painters showed up and set up their wares the photographers left and the painting and drawing began. SBTHP Mission Mills Steward Wayne Sherman and “the Gator” assisted by moving artists and their equipment in and out of the park. Esther Jacobsen Bates and Linda Small of the Elverhoj Museum welcomed the artists and invited them to participate in the exhibition.  A historical tour was given mid-morning by Steward Sherman to all interested parties. The artists ranged from beginning students to well-oiled and well known paint slingers. The photographers were armed with modern digital cameras, trusty old roll film cameras and even one very large glass negative tripod camera. One woman was noted setting up miniature plastic horses and lying on her belly to photograph them with the Mills in the background. At any rate the air was full of artistic endeavors that day. The sun came out around one thirty and the last painter packed up at three when one of the photographers slinked back in for more shots of the site sans people.

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It will be a very interesting exhibition from all that I saw going on. I did peek at a few of the painted works and pronounced them all $500 dollar winners. Good thing I’m not the judge.

The opening reception and awards presentation for “Art from the Groves/ Santa Ines Mission Mills” will take place at the Elverhoj Museum of History & Art on June 14th from 4 to 6 pm. A Juror’s Award will be presented by award-winning fine art painter Robert Burridge in the amount of $500.00. First place will garner $250.00 and second place takes $150.00 home for the effort.  The participating artists will also have a chance to have their art work considered for a new label for SBTHP’s olive oil if they so desire.

For more information on the contest or the exhibition please contact:

Elverhoj Museum of History & Art

1624 Elverhoj Way

Solvang, Ca 93463

805-686-1211

www.elverhoj.org  info@elverhoj.org

Wayne Sherman is the steward at the Santa Inés Mission Mills

California Missions Foundation Supports SBTHP’s Preservation Efforts at the Santa Inés Mission Mills

by Michael Imwalle

Painted Figure as it appeared in 2002. Photo by by Michael Imwalle.
Painted Figure as it appeared in 2002. Photo by Michael Imwalle.

The Santa Barbara Trust for historic Preservation recently completed an important conservation assessment at the Santa Inés Mission Mills property thanks to a grant from the California Missions Foundation (CMF).

According to Santa Inés Mission’s annual account books, construction of two masonry reservoirs and a water-powered grist mill was completed by October 1820. The following year a batán or fulling facility had been constructed. The fulling mill operated with a vertical “New England-style” water wheel which powered water from the zanja (ditch). An interesting feature of the fulling mill structure is an enigmatic anthropomorphic figure painted on the masonry surface of the south-facing wall.

A detailed condition assessment was performed in 2001 to determine the age and condition of the painting (you can read more about that here). While the overall condition of the image was considered good, the study found that it had been affected by fracturing, detachment, surface loss, salt formation, and biological growth. The 2001 study recommended regular monitoring of the condition, including the detailed examination of chronologic, time-lapsed photographs to determine if additional loss of material was taking place.

Antoinette and Rick on the scaffolding during fieldwork phase of the project. Photo by Michael Imwalle.
Antoinette and Rick on the scaffolding during fieldwork phase of the project. Photo by Michael Imwalle.

Thanks to a generous grant from CMF, SBTHP was able to hire rock art conservator Antoinette Padgett and rock art photographer Rick Bury to perform an updated assessment of the figure in 2013. The recent study made several recommendations regarding actions to be undertaken to slow or halt the processes that are causing the damage to the figure.   We hope to secure continued support from CMF or other generous donors to support the study and conservation of this important piece of California history.

Michael Imwalle is the archaeologist at the Santa Barbara Trust for Historic Preservation

SBTHP’s Epic Olive Odyssey Part Two: The 2013 Harvest

by Michael H. Imwalle

Closeup of the harvest.  The combination of black and green olives makes for tasty oil.  Photo by Michael Imwalle.
Closeup of the harvest. The combination of black and green olives makes for tasty oil. Photo by Michael Imwalle.

On November 9th the Santa Barbara Trust for Historic Preservation (SBTHP) hosted our 3rd Annual Volunteer Olive Picking Day at the Santa Inés Mission Mills property. More than twenty five SBTHP Board, staff, and volunteers picked over 600 pounds of olives for the 2013 crush! Volunteers picked five hundred pounds of Arbequina olivess from the Mill Grove and another hundred and fifty pounds of Mission Olives from the Mission Grove. Park Steward Wayne Sherman organized a delightful lunch followed by a tour of the mills for new visitors to the site.

After another successful volunteer picking event, a crew of professional pickers were contracted to pick the remainder of the olives. A crew of twelve picked another 2 ½ tons of Lucca, Mission, and Manzanillo olives during two days the following week. Olives were delivered to the miller at Figueroa Farms within hours of being picked. A special thank you goes out to Shawn Addison of Figueroa Farms for lending us picking bins at no cost and milling the olives at a discounted price.

 

Despite having to engage in a late-season battle with the Mediterranean Olive Fly, it was a very successful year for the SBTHP olive enterprise. Between the volunteers and the professionals we harvested 6,116 pounds or 3.06 tons of olives netting 122.5 gallons of the oil of the gods. That is a yield of forty gallons of oil per ton of fruit. That is an increase of almost 15 percent over last year’s yield of 35 gallons per ton. Furthermore, we were able to pick almost twice as much fruit in nearly half the time.

Olio Nuovo, limited quantity available. Photo y Anne Petersen.
Olio Nuovo, limited quantity available. Photo by Anne Petersen.

On November 25th Wayne delivered 122.5 gallons of virgin olive oil to the Olivos Del Mar packing facility and on the 27th  picked up our first ten cases bottled as “Olio Nuovo” or new oil. Olio Nuovo is the first press of the season. It is bottled unfiltered, immediately after crushing, and has an intense grassy, peppery fresh flavor loaded with polyphenols, making Olio Nuovo the healthiest oil available from each harvest. Produced from a blend of Arbeqina, Grappalo, Lucca, Manzanillo, and Mission olives, this special early release is available for a limited time. Order yours online today or pick some up in the museum shop at El Presidio de Santa Barbara State Historic Park.  For more photos from our volunteer olive picking event, visit our Flickr page here.

Michael Imwalle is the archaeologist at the Santa Barbara Trust for Historic Preservation, and he loves that peppery olio nuovo!