I’m sorry – I’ve got an addiction – to olives

Posted by Dunc on Jun 23, 2009 in Food Shopping |


Sometimes in life, you go through phases where you can’t get enough of something. You know those guilty pleasures that you can’t get through the day without thinking of at least once.

I’ve had a fair few of these weird and wonderful food addictions over the years (jacket potatoes with cheese and battered fish butties from the chippy are two notable examples – not at the same time though!) but the latest thing that’s got a grip on me is olives!

Now this is quite strange because up until a couple of years ago, I couldn’t stand the salty little beggars! For some reason, at the moment I crave Pimento Stuffed Olives ALL THE TIME!

“WHAT!?” I hear you shout – Olives aren’t British!

I know, I know, and for this I am truly sorry. The source of my guilt is that this delicious delicacy that I can’t keep my grubby mits off, comes from Greece.

But wait…

So imagine my surprise when I did a little googling only to discover that due to climate change, we are now able to grow olives in this country. Now imagine my excitement (yes, very sad I know) that there are farmers who are actually growing them by the chuff-load.

Mark Diacono on Otter Farm in Devon, is taking advantage of Britain’s warming climate to grow more Mediterranean crops like olives, peaches, almonds, szechuan pepper, apricots and a vineyard. 5 years ago, he planted 120 olive trees on his 17-acre farm and hopes to be producing British home-grown Olive Oil within a year.

And it isn’t just me who is rather excited about this. As rumour has it, a top London department store, has offered to pre-buy the entire production run. Mark, however, has said that he would prefer to sell locally to keep the food miles down.

Brilliant stuff. One less pleasure to feel guilty about :)

To learn more, have a read of the article on Country File.

As well as planting and maintaining Otter Farm’s orchards, vineyards, forest garden and veg patch, Mark Diacono leads the Garden Team at River Cottage. He also runs the growing courses at River Cottage, gives talks and hosts events at RCHQ, and appears in the River Cottage TV series too. Busy bloke then!

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