Wonder if the early growers in the Southeast had such careful palates?

“In the future we’ll also produce oil specifically from lighter, greener olives,” says Jason Shaw, “and that will be a more pungent, spicy oil.

These first years we’re focusing on the dark crop for the buttery oil.” Southeastern chefs are happy with that, anticipating the unveiling and tastings first in Atlanta, and then beyond.

All three men are pleased too with their arbosana and koroneiki varieties that they use as pollinators while their testing continues on olive varieties from Israel, Croatia, Turkey, Italy and France, as well as the Spanish in the orchard.

Three years of active research in Southwest Georgia soil fuels their initial success; Georgia Olive Farms was first planted in April of 2009.

Smith with the Georgia Department of Economic Development’s Agribusiness Innovation Center based in Tifton.

Certified olive oil taster Nancy Ash shares tips for learning to taste oils.

His expertise emphasizes quality standards and improved methods of authenticating high quality in oil, requirements in the Shaw family operation, Jason says.

Ash, who is conducting olive oil projects in Palestine and Israel, will lead an olive oil tasting Jan.

Joining Georgia Olive Farms on the first harvest in September to explore that concept was Archie Bennett with Bennett Tractor Company from Waycross, making modifications in the field to adjust blueberry work to olives, and adding in a special olive head.