|A lay monastic family, questing for the sacred, and advocating for children.|
SISTER JULIE'S Organic OLIVE OIL
Extra Virgin, Extra Good
GOLD MEDAL WINNER!
8 gold medals plus 2 Best of Class so far, including the prestigious Los Angeles International Extra Virgin Olive Oil Competition. Our Tuscan blend oil is robust with intense olive fruit flavor.
ORGANICALLY FARMED AND MORE:
Planted on the rolling hills of our Sonoma County homestead, our trees have grown up naturally, free of chemical fertilizers, weed killers and insecticides and using only drip irrigation. Obtaining organic certification from CCOF is very difficult, but it proves that this oil is grown with the utmost care for health and the environment.
The trees are planted on the peaceful slopes of our Sonoma County farm. They are beautiful to see dancing in the breeze. The hundreds of birds they shelter provide sweet evening music. We often hold our evening meditations in the beautiful, peaceful groves. Many of our olive trees have been dedicated by our friends in memory or in honor of loved ones. Thus, our olive trees are loved and blessed by many hearts and hands. (Does it make the oil taste better? We don't know, but it is a lovely/special/important ingredient.)
Like all fresh fruits, olives must be treated gently. Friends and volunteers help us pick the olives by hand. An old-fashioned, neighborly way to harvest.
COLD PRESSED WITHIN HOURS:
Great olive oil needs to be processed within a few hours. As baskets of fruit are brought in from the field, Sister Julie begins pressing them in the barn. It is a slow process and care is taken every step of the way to guarantee the flavor and quality of this triumphant oil.
GOOD FOR YOU
Polyphenols are the antioxidents found in olive oil. We had polyphenol testing for the first time this year and got this statement from the lab: "The polyphenol content of this oil is over 600 ppm which is excellent. Therefore, this oil is in the range of the very best quality olive oils ..."
BEFORE THE OIL THERE ARE THE TREES
In 2001 we began to plant our olive groves. We now have 1,800 trees. They are Italian varieties: Frantoio 28%, Leccino 26%, Moraiolo 13%, Maurino 8%, and Pendolino 7%, from Tuscany; Canino 7%, from Latium; and Taggiasca 11%, from Liguria.
The nuns in the ancient Tuscan monastery of Valserena, in Italy, who are considered to have the finest olive oil in the Cistercian Order of monks and nuns, suggested this blend to us. "Treat your olive trees like children," the abbess directed. And we do. We pressed the first oil for ourselves in 2006.
On our farm, mowing the rows between the olive trees is an important task in preparation for the harvest in the late autumn. It is a long and tedious job but it has its rewards. We start at dawn when it is cooler. Guiding the tractor and mower through the fields requires a person's full attention. Even so, you spot the family of quail scurrying from row to row. Little birds swoop from their nests. Big ones drift in the breeze high above. The occasional jackrabbit or wild turkey cautiously peers from around a tree trunk, unaware of a kitten with dreams of glory perched on a tree limb.
Sister Julie is the one who does most of the mowing here. She once wrote:
Up one side of the row, down the other, and a third pass through the middle. The tractor hugs the ground. I feel like I know every inch of the land, every bump and ridge and gully. And while I do what I can to take care of it, I know that in reality, the land is taking care of me.
It is understandable these peaceful fields are a favorite place for visiting friends to stroll. Here are some pictures of the folks who bring the oil from our fields to your table. Many friends help with the process. <Click here for a photo gallery of our olive harvest>
AND IT TASTES GREAT TOO!
Loved by Mediterranean people for centuries, premium quality artisan olive oil is a new taste experience for many. Our gold-winning robustly intense oil will enliven your salads and vegetables, wake up a Tuscan bean soup or minestrone, make a magnificent pesto sauce for your pasta. For more recipes click here.
TREAT YOURSELF TO A BOTTLE - AND ORDER SOME FOR GIFTS
Certified Organic by CCOF and Certified Extra Virgin by the California Olive Oil Council, Sister Julie's Olive Oil is high in health-giving polyphenols. Stored out of the sunlight it will stay fresh for two years - but chances are you'll use it up long before that! Take a bottle as a gift to friends when you go for dinner. Let us send some with your greetings for holidays, birthdays, anniversaries, housewarmings or any occasion.
The Buy Now buttons take you to our secure, online shopping cart. You may also place an order by contacting us below at:
Many thanks to all who purchase, donate, and support us in these trying times. Your caring, gifts, and purchases make a difference in the lives of many children, and bring love and hope to the world.
For more information about, or to purchase our holiday gifts please <click here>.
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