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A Thousand Trees Olive Grove is quietly nestled in the foothills between the spa town of Daylesford and the old goldfields of Castlemaine, right in the heart of Central Victoria’s gourmet food region.
We are a small family-run olive grove producing a boutique product that has been specially crafted from our 1,000 olive trees belonging to the Frantoio and Correggiola varieties that are native to the Tuscany region of Central Italy.
We bought the land originally in 2001 as a weekend retreat for the family, with no idea of an olive grove in mind. We have always loved good olive oil but knew nothing about growing olives. At a meeting of the local olive association we were told of an olive nursery nearby. After careful consultation with the nursery owner, the olive varieties - Frantoio, Correggiola, Licino - were chosen for oil, and Manzanilla and UC13A6 - were chosen as pollinators. You need several varieties to help with pollination and spread the risk, so we followed the best practice of having at least four varieties.
Throughout the year, which is May to May for us in Central Victoria, there are baking dry summers and freezing winters to negotiate. Deciding on the harvest date is the most challenging time of the year - we walk a tightrope in May between the olives ripening and the onset of frosts, which can severely damage the crop.
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Our long standing passion for exquisite olive oil has meant that we have always cultivated our trees to obtain the best fruit possible; we use only organic products and harvest entirely by hand. Each stage of production - the growing and fertilising, the harvesting and pressing- is carefully managed and carried out with love and care.
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We decided to name our product A Thousand Trees in honour of the 1,000 trees that make up our grove and began to enter it into the Royal Melbourne Fine Foods Awards. In six years A Thousand Trees has won two bronze medals (2010 & 2013) and most recently a silver medal (2015). Our oil is now available through our new online shop and a growing number of boutique retailers in Victoria, NSW and Queensland.