The roots of the California Ripe Olive industry run deep. The process used today for creating California Ripe Olives was invented in the late 1800s by an olive industry pioneer named Freda Ehmann.
The Benson Family grows olives in Southern California and are among the hundreds of hard-working olive farming families in the Golden State. Rick Benson and his sister, Laura Vandeweghe, may be a fourth-generation California farming family, but they’re the new kids on the block in regard to California Ripe Olive farming.
California Ripe Olives cure for seven days making for a better tasting olive that is an extremely versatile and delicious addition to a variety of dishes and snacks that consumers crave. In fact, 75% of U.S. grocery shoppers prefer to buy products grown in the United States* and because nearly all domestic ripe olives are grown on multi-generational family farms in California, they’re a great choice for customers.
When Rick attended a Tulare Farm Expo about 12 years ago, he met a nursery sales representative who introduced him to the idea of growing olive trees in the desert. With guidance and a blessing from his father, he took a chance on planting olives in the Imperial Valley of California.
The Benson Family then made the move to plant more acres of olives in one of California’s most beautiful desert landscapes, adjacent to the Salton Sea.
Today, Rick and Laura enjoy working together. They find growing high-quality California Ripe Olive to be the ultimate reward for their efforts. Planting newer orchards has allowed the Bensons to experiment with new technology, including mechanical harvesting, and they see olives as the crop for the next generation.
We invite you to learn more about the Bensons and other California Ripe Olive growers here.
*Based on results from a 2013 survey with 1,000 grocery shoppers across all 50 states and the District of Columbia.
This post is sponsored by California Ripe Olives