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Excerpt below from:
Olive Oil Producers Go Mobile in California
June 20 2011 | By Lori Zanteson | Olive Oil Times Contributor | Reporting from Los Angeles
Mobile mills could not have come at a better time for this booming industry. Of all the factors that contribute to the making of great extra virgin olive oil, from olive variety, to terroir, to irrigation, there’s no denying the importance of getting olives from the tree to the mill as quickly as possible.
“It’s pretty amazing the quality you can get even from mediocre olives by milling them quickly,” said Thom Curry, general manager of Temecula Olive Oil Company, owner of O2B. The reality for many growers and most small growers, who don’t have a mill on their property, or are not close to one, is that time is not always on their side. Loading and hauling tons of olives in what may be rented bins, trucks, and trailers to the nearest mill, is an often expensive and timely endeavor.
The first mobile mill, O2B, according to Curry, was the brainchild of two guys: One quite mechanical with an interest in making the best olive oil, and the other a manager of an equipment company. “It was more of a showpiece than a business,” said Curry, built as a marketing tool to show what could be done. Curry first saw the mill at U.C. Davis in 2009 and was so taken with the idea that he was first in line to purchase it in September 2010, just in time for its second harvest.
Curry quickly got a crew together and jumped into harvest with a healthy base of return O2B customers and no shortage of new ones. “It was a crazy year!” he said, “It was a learning process.” O2B milled between 25 and 30 different places last year and plans on 35 or 40 this year. O2B can mill ¾ of a ton of olives per hour, but Curry keeps it at ½ a ton for better quality.
California’s largest olive oil harvest ever a boon for consumers
Fran Gage | By The San Francisco Chronicle
Four years ago, Thom Curry, co-owner of Temecula Olive Oil Co., purchased a mobile mill and started roving the state, setting up near orchards and milling olive oil. He calls his enterprise Olive to Bottle. His clients are small growers with modest amounts of fruit — many are wineries with a patch of olive trees. Curry described this year’s harvest as, “Awesome. Delightful after last year. The quality is great and there are a lot more olives.”