Thursday, March 31, 2011

Tuscany in Texas

In the Texas Hill Country, goats and grapes are grown on spare limestone hills. Artisans produce specialty items like hand-made cheese, boutique bread.  And now Texas-grown olive oil. 

I know, most folks think longhorns and beer when they think of Texas. And we do grow good beef and make good beer, but there's more to our land these days.
At Bella Vista Ranch in Wimberley, entrepreneur Jack Daugherty makes flavorful olive oil from the fruit of the 800 or so olive trees he planted on his rolling hills.  At the Hill Top Cafe outside Fredericksburg, restaurateur Johnny Nicholas sells olive trees along with his made-with-love menu.

And at a growing number of Hill Country homes, folks are enjoying the flash of year-round silvery-green foliage and possibility of harvesting their own olives.

A few weeks ago I wrote a news article about olive trees in the home landscape.  Now I'm thinking we need Mission olive trees, two for a greater chance of fruit. 

Don't tell Denny, who doesn't love levering boulders from our limestone to make room for root-balls. 

If you'd like a view of the Mediterranean in your yard too, click here for the article and more information.

Or visit our Texas Hill Country and see for yourself.

Copyright 2009-2011 Kathleen Scott, for Hill Country Mysteries. Unauthorized reproduction is prohibited.


  1. We attended a Texas olive oil convention in Austin recently and the emergence of olive oil culture in Texas is real. These people are really passionate about it, and someday it might be a big deal around here.

  2. How funny...zipped through Wimberly a couple Saturdays ago, and I had no idea. To me, the TX Hill Country looks like a higher humidity version of the Mediterranean w/ live oaks, hills, rocks. Thanks for sharing!

    Read this recently on your topic:

  3. Nothing like good olive oil.

    I love you, Kathleen!


  4. CA, well at least up north where I live, has gone into the olive oil biz as well. I can't wait until we have as many olive trees as Spain, so we can have good, local olive oil as cheap as they do.

    Love your blue bonnet picture, Kathleen. Gorgeous wherever they grow.
    x0 N2

  5. That's so incredible !
    Sometimes we are very spoiled and my fil brings back his own oil when they return from their summers in Abruzzi... which is a dry and rocky part of Italy, quite different from Tuscany.

  6. Loved the article, Kathleen!!

  7. I love the landscape, but do you mean those fruits at the last photo are olives? I havent seen them in person, just the canned ones. haha!

  8. Olives are a remarkably diverse bit sustenance. One could argue that Western Civilization was "lubed" by olive oil in it's early days. It's nice to see the skill catching on over here, beyond dropping one into a dry martini.


  9. Suunds like you live in a fabulous area


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