Oregon olive oil starts flowing

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Sunday, October 01, 2006
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DAYTON — Ken and Penny Durant of Red Ridge Farms are betting that olives will grow in the Willamette Valley. In fact, they’re already selling oil made from the type of olives, arbequina, that they’ve planted on their property. Ken Durant calls it a “convergence strategy.” He’ll get foodies used to looking for the Red Ridge Farms label on their olive oil and by 2008, if all goes well, it will be made with Oregon olives. Of course, that assumes that the trees grow well, which is still a bit of a gamble. But the Durants are working with olive expert Xavier Marques, who assures them that arbequinas are hardy enough to withstand Oregon winters. After all, didn’t doubters once say, “You can’t grow wine grapes in Oregon?”


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