Georgia Sees New Industry in Olive Growers

-- Lanier County, Ga. -- May 29, 2012 --

Kevin Shaw is in the business of South Georgian Olive Oil. He and his two cousins own Georgia Olive Farms in Lanier County. The business is relatively new. Their first harvest was last fall. They made, and sold, about 75 gallons of Olive Oil. That's about $28,000 dollars worth. But that's not the only way they turn a profit.

Shaw says "we're actually doing turn key jobs for other people and installing for other people as well. From Live Oak, Florida up to Hawkinsville, Georgia and that's kind of taken a lot of our time, but we are going to put another 15 acres in on this farm this year."

That expansion will add to the roughly 25 acres that currently exist. As with most farmers, the recent rain has been a welcome addition to Georgia Olive Farms.

Shaw said "tropical storm Beryl has been a God send for sure. I mean we are in a severe drought."

Eyewitness News reporter Eames Yates spoke with the Georgia Olive Grower's Association. They say they're getting 2 to 3 calls a week from new olive producers. They're no where near the volume of peaches and pecans, but they are certainly growing in popularity in south Georgia.

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  • by Sandy Location: Georgia on Jun 2, 2012 at 11:07 PM
    I've passed by their grove a few times...the first time I saw it, I thought I was hallucinating. Olives in Georgia?! However, I've heard good things and hope to go on a tour one of these days. I heard they offer them, but I don't know yet if it's for the general public or just as a educational tool for potential growers. I hope it's the former because I'd really love to take a look. Also, it'd be a great sort of field trip for the kids at the local HS. I know they have a pretty large ag program there, and olives aren't exactly your typical Georgia crop.
  • by Patricia Location: Virginia on Jun 1, 2012 at 05:18 PM
    Do you have your own press? We are moving to Florida and I would love to grow olives.
  • by Mike Location: Tallahassee on May 30, 2012 at 03:21 PM
    I got one of the first 1000 bottles they produced a few weeks back. I was floored as to how tasty this stuff is. It makes that imported BOGO olive oil you get a Publix taste horrible!
    • reply
      by Anonymous on Jun 1, 2012 at 02:53 AM in reply to Mike
      What did you pay?
    • reply
      by Country on Jun 1, 2012 at 02:54 AM in reply to Mike
      What did you pay? And what was the brand name on the bottle?
  • by Anonymous on May 30, 2012 at 10:13 AM
    I'm gonna plant me soem olives...over a thousand per acre, not a bad return!
  • by Anonymous Location: GA on May 30, 2012 at 09:18 AM
    To Country, You haven't tasted olive oil until you have tasted fresh olive oil. Most imported (Italian) olive oil isn't even pure olive oil. This stuff is worth every penny.
    • reply
      by Anonymous on May 30, 2012 at 04:02 PM in reply to Anonymous
      Yeah, right. Sorry, in your dreams you get that kind of money for olive oil -- $93/qt is either a typo or bad info.
      • reply
        by Anonymous on Jun 3, 2012 at 03:04 PM in reply to
        Having talked to someone who claims to be happy to pay 100$/qt for GA oil, I stand corrected -- maybe neither a typo or bad info. But then, I remember when ostrich meat was real expensive too...
  • by Country Location: Dirtopia on May 29, 2012 at 08:02 PM
    75 gallons = $28k? Uh, no way -- that's a little less than $400/gal, $100/qt -- gross.
  • by Redneck Towel head on May 29, 2012 at 03:54 PM
    We oplan to grow olives this next year. Very Profitable.
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