Butte County Farm Inspires Shoppers To Look Locally For Holiday Gifts

Lodestar Olive Oil is a gift with a Flavor Unique to Butte County

Oroville, Calif. -- (Nov. 18, 2004) -- This holiday season, look no further! Products locally grown and produced in Butte County are “treasures” that make gift giving easy.

“There are many products unique to this region that can’t be produced anywhere else, which makes the gift even more special,” said Jamie Johansson, owner/farmer of Lodestar Farms, which makes a traditional California olive oil. “Lodestar Olive Oil is perfect for holiday hostess gifts, more personal than a bottle of wine, and a great addition to local gift baskets.”

Lodestar Farms, located in Oroville, produces Mission olive oil with a flavor and style that is unique to this region. The history dates back to the Franciscan Missionaries who planted the first Mission olives. Today, 75 percent of the Mission olives in the world are grown in Oroville and the first commercial olive oil production in California began just miles from Lodestar Farms in 1898 with the Ehmann Olive Company.

Lodestar Farms is committed to producing California’s only provincial flavor of olive oil. The fruity, buttery taste of Lodestar Olive Oil can only be achieved from olives grown and harvested in a Mediterranean climate. Oroville is situated in the Sierra Nevada foothills at an elevation where warm air is “trapped” year round, preventing the olives from freezing on the trees. While the majority of farms in California harvest in October or November (before their olives are fully ripe), Lodestar is able to harvest in January when the olives are fully ripe, which enhances natural flavors in the oil and reduces the grassy taste that is created when olives are picked early in the season.

“When you send a bottle of Lodestar Olive Oil, you are truly sending a gift that exemplifies the history of our region with a true California flavor.” Johansson said, “Lodestar Olive Oil provides the consumer with a product that was grown on California soil, from traditional California Mission Olives trees, that was harvested in the traditional hand-picked manner. These factors, combined with the history of olive growing in our region, provide the consumer with the quality they expect when purchasing a gourmet product direct-from-the-farm.”

Lodestar Farms product line includes:

Lodestar Traditional Late-Harvest Olive Oil: A provincial olive oil. Olives cultivated for Lodestar Traditional Late-Harvest are harvested and pressed later in the season to create an oil with a fruitier, more buttery flavor. Its taste is unique to California and signature to the region's Mission olives. Perfect for everyday cooking and for use as a finishing oil. Available in 250 ml. and 500 ml. bottles.

Lodestar Lemon Olive Oil: Lodestar Lemon Olive Oil is produced by pressing Lodestar’s Mission Olives with a blend of California-grown Eureka and Meyer Lemons from the Shore Family Farm in the hills above Santa Barbara. The Shore Family’s Farm is located in an area that is as well known for its lemons as Oroville is for Mission Olives. Lodestar Lemon Olive Oil is the only California Olive Oil that highlights two family farms. An excellent complement to fish, poultry and vegetable dishes. Available in 250 ml. bottles.

Suggested retail prices range from $9.99 - $16.99 for 250 ml. bottle of Traditional Late-Harvest blend. Lodestar Olive Oil is available in local retail outlets throughout Northern California and online at www.lodestarfarms.com. For more information on Lodestar Farms, visit www.lodestarfarms.com or call 530-534-OLIV (6548).