Lucero Olive Oil was established in 2005, however our farms have been operating continuously since 1947 as we started as table olive farmers. 2009 was a watershed year because we added a mill and over 200 acres of olives. By the end of 2010 we were operating a tasting room and catalog business.
Today we have over 400 acres of olives and are unique in that we represent both diversity of offer as well as scale in a growing region known for either one attribute or the other. Two of our orchards are populated by original Sevillano trees from the early 20th century, are lovely to walk among and deliver a delicate oil we mostly use in our 70th Anniversary blend. Two orchards are high density machine harvested types – one comprised of 80% Favolosa and 20% Don Carlo, the other of mostly Arbequina with some Arbosana and Koroneiki. The newest orchards were planted in medium density spacing and are hand harvested, in the same way the oldest orchards are. Here we explore the greatest diversity of flavors! All orchards are within about 15 minutes of our mill.
As sustainable farmers we have a light footprint on the land using integrated pest management and minimal inputs. Located near creeks and the Sacramento River, our orchards are home to many animals. The Arbequina orchard is especially interesting because of an untouched oak savannah between the four main blocks and two northern blocks of trees there. Visitors can see our resident pair of great horned owls, turkey, quail, deer, foxes, coyotes, skunks, bobcats, jack rabbits, and all other manner of creature there.
As American Olive Farmers® we are sensitive to the fact that the average age of the American farmer is over 65, so donate to two main charitable events each year. $5 of every 1 gallon jug of 5 Star oil is donated to local Ag education such as FFA or 4H, and 5% of every specially marked bottle of 5 Star oil is donated to the Farmer Veteran Coalition, helping integrate returning veterans into civilian life as farmers.
There are only about 20 of us – all local – who operate Lucero Olive Oil.