The olive ranch idea has been in the works a while now. I think hubs started researching olives years and years ago, but he finally told me about the idea probably in 2011. Looking back, I remember being on our honeymoon in 1997, and as newlyweds, hubby playing a trick on me at Mondavi Winery in Napa. He handed me an olive off the tree that he had just picked as we walked into our tour. It was a green, plump, and fruity olive. Very normal olive. He said “taste it”. What did I do? I tasted it. Hubs knew exactly what he was doing. It was sour, bitter, awful. Hubs knew that a freshly picked olive wasn’t palatable off the tree. JERK. I stood there with my lips pursed, puckered up, with a terrible scowl as he laughed and snickered. I swear, hubs is like a 12 year old so often. So, I can say, I think the olive fascination goes beyond me, I think it probably started back in college as he learned viticulture, since wine has always gone hand in hand with olives.
Fast forward to 2013 when he took a lot of time to plant our retirement in olive trees at the ranch. He cleared approximately 7 acres I think. He planted about 900 trees. He fenced the trees in; to keep deer and cattle from eating the baby trees. They were arbequina olive trees. The set up was beautiful.
Well guess what? Just guess. The first winter that the trees were planted was awful. It was a cold Texas winter. Not only cold, but wet too. In the nursery biz, they call it La Nina winter. Long story short, the baby trees FROZE. I watched in horror as I watched him take out the irrigation drip tubes so he could clear the land once again. I thought about the long hours that he took carefully planting the baby trees, and ultimately the excitement in his eyes diminish as his future dreams, our retirement plans were crushed. But only for a second.
With failure comes learning. Hubs learned it was probably the variety of olive that he planted. That arbequina olive variety was probably not as hearty as other varieties. So, there are plans to try and try again. He continues to learn about olives. After all, we know olives have to work in the area because there are other olive farms located somewhat close. He talks to mentors about olives. He researches and finds more and more zest for the dream. But you see, that crushing loss is exactly what drives the dream. And, with that lesson, has come the name for the ranch. We always want to pay homage to that lesson. That’s the reason for the name of the ranch, Rancho de los Olivos Perdidos. In short, Rancho Olivos Perdidos, roughly translated, The Ranch of Lost Olives.