Archive for the ‘CARRIZO SPRINGS’ Category

Texas Olive Ranch Harvest & Gold Crush

Open to Visitors Sept. 14-15

Texas Olive Ranch will be open for visitors to observe the largest olive harvest in Texas history on September 14-15, 2010 from 9 am to 2pm. The 2010 Gold Crush Texas Olive Harvest is expected to be the most abundant in Texas olive agriculture history. During visitors hours, mechanical harvesting and the complete process of pressing extra virgin olive oil will be open for view: harvester operation, weighing fruit bins, filling the mill hopper, and milling the new oil, or ‘Oliva Nueva,’ the Tex-ified version of the Italian “Olio Nuovo.” We will be sampling remarkably spicy, flavorful Oliva Nueva as it is produced. Hats and boots are recommended. Texas Olive Ranch is between Asherton, Texas and Carrizo Springs, Texas on CR 1557, about two hours southwest of San Antonio by car. Overnight visitors are encouraged to make reservations for accommodations early as space is limited.

On Tuesday, September 14, the USDA and Texas Olive Oil Council are sponsoring Olive Oil Field Day, a seminar to provide information about olive agriculture in Texas (agenda). Todd Staples, Texas Agriculture Commissioner, will be speaking at noon. After the seminar, there will be a soapmaking demonstration by Kathy White, KatNip Natural Bath & Body, Clear Lake. Orchard and presshouse tours will be ongoing during the day both days.

During the harvest event, PBS will be filming a documentary about the Texas olive industry. Texas Olive Trails follows the emergence of olive agriculture in the historically innovative agricultural Winter Garden region of the Middle Rio Grande in South Texas, along with the challenges of weather, water availability, rocks, varmints and more.


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1015Y Texas Super Sweet Onions

Dixondale Farms in Carrizo Springs is the U.S. largest and oldest producer of onion plants since 1913. They have a fantastic “how to” section on their website with info for which onions do best in South Texas.

Seasonal fresh produce can be purchased by mail order or walk-in. Visitors can tour the farm or packinghouse. Tour groups by appointment only. Open. Dec.–Jul., Mon.–Fri. 8 a.m.–5 p.m.; Sept.–Nov., Mon.–Fri. 9 a.m.–4 p.m.; closed Aug. Call    830/876-2430 or 830/876-2430 for catalog. www.dixondalefarms.com.

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Gate view of olive orchard, Texas Olive Ranch.

Just got back from the Fredericksburg Wine Festival where some amazing local foods were available to sample. The best were “Don’t Panic Hispanic Salsa” (deep, smokey, tomato flavor) and perfectly good olive oil from Jim Henry’s Texas Olive Ranch in Carrizo Springs.  They use arbequina variety olives which are especially suitable for growing in the soil of the Middle Rio Grande Valley. They also grow two other varieties: arbosana, also Spanish in origin; and a Greek variety, koroneiki. The growing season in Texas is hot and the olives are ready to be harvested the first week in September. They offer tours and a comfy inn nearby for visits.  Stop by!

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This is a wonderful article from the archives of Gourmet (2002) about S.H.A.P.E. ranch in Carrizo Springs, TX, a bison ranch run by Hugh Fitzsimons. This snippet should pique your interest. Buy some today.

In the deferential way they’re treated, the Shape’s 600 head of buffalo seem more like guests than the principal assets of a meat business. Unless it’s harvest time, the animals are never penned up in feedlots, as they are on most ranches; instead, they’re free to roam over the whole 20 square miles, which means it can take a week to round them up. “The way I live my life and run the ranch,” says the 48-year-old owner, Hugh Fitzsimons, “I think of myself more as a hunter-gatherer than as someone in agriculture.”




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