The Olea project is a collaboration between Oregon State University (OSU) Extension’s Mid-Valley Small Farms Program and local olive growers. Olea is generously funded by the Sustainable Agricultural Research & Education (SARE) program of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).
Olives (Olea europaea) are an innovative crop that offer many opportunities for Oregon small farmers to diversify their farms and generate alternative income from value-added farm products. The Olea Project was established with the goals of making olive production economically feasible and reducing climatic limitations for olive growers during establishment in Oregon’s unique growing conditions.
We are currently conducting research and evaluation of the best practices for both table olives and oil producing olives in Oregon. Our research focuses on propagation techniques, cultivar evaluation, and transplanting and orchard establishment practices, in collaboration with experienced growers and industry professionals. Olives offer growers the opportunity to introduce new revenue streams, take advantage of the crop’s lower water and input needs, and utilize soils considered to be of lesser agricultural quality. Olives are an upcoming specialty crop in the state of Oregon as growers look to diversify and to anticipate future climate and market possibilities.
The primary objectives of the Olea Project include:
Determining most effective olive propagation techniques
Establish relative cold hardiness of olive cultivars through field evaluation
Evaluating transplanting and up-potting strategies for rapid orchard establishment
Disseminate information to to industry stakeholders, growers, and the general public