[2] Recent DNA testing in California suggests the Mission olive could be related to Picholine Marocaine, a Moroccan cultivar. Varieties in one country have been found to be identical to differently named varieties in another. The Mission Olive Preservation, Restoration, and Education Project (MOPREP) aims to preserve the cultural link to the California Mission Olive tree for the purpose of general public education and enjoyment. It is among the oldest known cultivated trees in the world - being grown before the written language was invented. [4][9][12], "Are Mission Olives Actually Picholine Marocaine? [1] Although developed in the United States, Mission olives are also used by South African olive oil producers. It has the lowest flesh-to-pit ratio (6.5:1) and greatest cold resistance of any commercial cultivar in California. Originally the olives were used only for the table, but now they are used to make oil as well. In Southern California population and housing pressure have put the farmers out of business. Where in the world did the olive originate? Athens is named for the Goddess Athena who brought the olive to the Greeks as a gift. Learn More Connect With Us. Exactly when the olive arrived and whether it was propagated from … donation to a local non-profit organization. 1,400 years ago the Prophet of Islam, Muhammad, advised his followers to apply olive oil to their bodies, and himself used oil on his head. There are many isolated trees or fragments of old groves but the land is too expensive for olive growing. Olives have been found in Egyptian tombs from 2,000 years BC. The Mission Olive Tree originated in California circa 1769, where they were first planted by Franciscan priests as they established Missions, hence the name. Greek Orthodox monks taught local residents how to carve olive wood. [3], Mission trees can reach heights of 40 and 50 feet (12 and 15 m). The congregation chartered in March, 1961. The Phoenicians spread the olive to the Mediterranean shores of Africa and Southern Europe. [2] It is also the only American olive cultivar listed by the International Olive Council in its World Catalogue of Olive Varieties. We don't know the exact variety of the trees on the Mount. A wide variety of products for retailers and olive oil professionals. Like the grape, the Christian missionaries brought the olive tree with them to California for food but also for ceremonial use. Southern California saw the first olive trees. [11], Olive trees were first brought to California by the Franciscan mission of San Diego de Alcalá; olive production likely began in earnest within the first two decades of the mission. The fruit is best picked when it is in the rosy stage of ripeness. Some research is now being done using gene mapping techniques to figure out the olive family tree. [4] They produce small fruit, typically of around 4.1 grams (0.14 oz). They are susceptible to peacock spot, a disease caused by the fungus Cycloconium oleaginum, and olive knot, a disease caused by the bacterium Pseudomonas savastanoi. [8] Mission olives were dominant until 1875, when Andalusian immigrants introduced the Manzanilla cultivar; subsequent introductions further reduced the percentage of Mission trees in California. It was being grown on Crete by 3,000 BC and may have been the source of the wealth of the Minoan kingdom. Olive oil has also been used to anoint the dead in many cultures. Confused? In the past several hundred years the olive has spread to North and South America, Japan, New Zealand and Australia. [6] They have also been used in the production of olive oil since the days of the Spanish missions. Subsequently in the past 150 years, trees have been planted in several waves along with interest in olives and olive oil. The olive culture was spread to the early Greeks then Romans. Four Organizations Sharing the Same Five Letters. THE OLIVE IN CALIFORNIA Mount Olive Lutheran Church has its roots in the Augustana Lutheran Synod, one of the many predecessor bodies of the current ELCA, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. Like the grape, the Christian missionaries brought the olive tree with them to California for food but also for ceremonial use. [1] Spanish settlers likely brought what would become the Mission trees to Mexico first. The Mission olive is a cultivar of olive developed in California, by Spanish missions along El Camino Real in the late 18th century. Mission olives are harvested for table use from late October through November; for oil production, they are harvested between mid-December and February. Olive oil has also been used to anoint the dead in many cultures.