Jerry Shaffer of Fandango Olive Oil

Jerry Shaffer of Fandango Olive Oil

fandangoOLIVE OIL
Fandango Organic

Paso Robles, San Luis Obispo County, California


Before retirement, I really enjoyed being a weekend gardener. It was a lot of fun constructing a fairly large greenhouse from scratch. I grew veggies and herbs from seeds and also had citrus. Upon retirement, I moved to the central coast of California, purchased acreage and did research. Growing olives for olive oil sounded very appealing to my wife, Carolyn, and me. My wife’s family grew table olives and that played a part in our decision. I also grow almonds and walnuts.

I have chosen to be a certified organic farmer. Being respectful of Mother Nature is very important to me. I utilize organic cover crops to replace nitrogen in the soil and have solar panels for my energy needs. I love being outdoors and farming is just plain fun! When you are using owl nesting boxes and raptor perches and work with Mother Nature, not against her, what is there not to love about farming?

Most of the trees are six years old and have made a happy home in a calcareous, mostly sandstone soil. Normally, the summers are very, very hot but it is not uncommon for the temperature to drop 50 degrees in the evening. In the winter, there is a decent amount of rainfall and late winter frost. However, for the past three years, our summers have not been as hot.

Harvest day! Getting up earlier than usual, walking in the grove alone with the stillness of the dawn. Seeing my trees one last time before harvest-branches fully loaded with fruit, olives in their splendor. It’s a busy, busy day-picker’s picking, mobile mill milling and friends and family enjoying our annual harvest party. At day’s end, I am totally exhausted. I collapse by the fire with my wife and dogs. I am served the last bowl of traditional Pozole, topped with a splash of freshly milled Olio Nuevo, and a glass of Paso Pinot Noir. I say one more time, “we are so blessed to be farmers”.



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