Finding suitable olive orchard land at the appropriate elevation and microclimate was a challenge. Because of chill requirements needed to produce and set fruit, we restricted our search to the 2,000-4,000’ elevation on the portion of Maui that stretches from Upper Olinda to Kamaole in Keokea. And, we learned quickly that if you could grow bananas and papayas well, you couldn’t grow olives. Olives need a chill and should be more appropriately grown where you commonly find peaches, plums and apples. We secured a site in this narrow band of land and set out to create Maui’s first commercial olive grove. Since then we have helped plant and install over 8 other orchards of varying size with a total of nearly 10,000 trees in the ground.
We have already identified the core group of trees that do well on Maui. They include Koroneiki, Arbequina, Arbosana, Frantoio, Pendolino, Lucino, Picual, Manzanillo, and many others from Greece, Spain and Italy. Varieties for both table and oil will expand as our experience with those trees comes to fruition.
Tending Olive Trees
With over 6 years of experience growing and tending olive trees it is safe to say we have probably made every mistake you could make. Fortunately we have learned from those experiences and are now confidently caring for the trees we have planted. We know which varieties grow best at which elevations, and when the trees should flower and produce fruit. We set production goals and timetables that are tuned to the microclimates of Maui and not extrapolated from California or other mainland growing regions.
The Enorossi 400 Oliomatic Olive Mill
The Enorossi 400 Oliomatic Olive Mill can process approximately 1,000 lbs per milling session (about 2-3 hours) and produces between 40-50 gallons of oil per ton of olives. The press is highly efficient and separates the olive paste from the oil and water in a three phase process. We are exploring sustainable options for the use of the byproducts which could include beauty products, additives for animal feed and compost for our orchard. About 80% of the fruit is a byproduct which leaves lots of room for creativity. The mill allows for varietal (single variety) as well as batch (multiple varieties). Having our own mill allows us to produce one of a kind blends of oil using freshly picked Maui grown olives.