Copperopolis Olive Oil
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DID YOU KNOW ?
   According to legend ; a contest was held in GREECE to see which GOD or GODDESS would be the patron of the new GREEK city of ATHENS. ATHENA the GODDESS of wisdom was challenged by POSEIDON , GOD of the sea  to provide the the most useful , divine gift. POSEIDON produced the horse. ATHENA produced an olive tree and she was chosen by ZEUS as the winner of the contest.  She had  provided the most useful gift -- THE OLIVE TREE -- noted for its oil,fruit and wood and as the symbol of peace , wisdom, longevity and prosperity.
ATHENA who was posturing with POSEIDON for dominion sprung the first  OLIVE TREE from the rocks of ACROPOLIS. Proclaiming it the fruit of civility. A fruit like no other. She said the flesh of the OLIVE was bitter as HATE and scant as TRUE LOVE it asked work to soften it and squeeze the golden - green blood from it. The OLIVE was like life and that the fight for  it made its oil sacred and it would soothe and feed a man from birth to death and the GODDESS' oil became an elixir.
So it has been more than 6000 years since the OLIVE TREE has been given to humankind and  it has always been a symbol of abundance , prosperity and peace. It has been  protected by emperors and statesmen and the precious OLIVE TREE and its  fruit has always played an important role in civilization . Dubbed as liquid gold , OLIVE OIL has been used for food , medicine, magic, beauty and religious and divine rituals and day after day an infinite number of new uses are being found around the world, 
       So the first cultivated OLIVE TREES appeared in SYRIA about 6000 B.C. They then spread to CRETE , PALESTINE and ISRAEL. At that time the economy was based on the production of grain, wine and OLIVE OIL. The knowledge of cultivation spread to what is now TURKEY, CYPRESS, EGYPT and GREECE.
By the 7th century B.C. OLIVE TREES were well established in GREECE. The OLIVE TREE was considered  so sacred that a law was written to prohibit the cutting down of one." SOLONS OLIVE PROTECTION LAW" and it stated that anyone who uprooted or destroyed an OLIVE TREE would be judged in the court and if found  guilty, sentenced to death! The OLIVE TREE was so highly valued and the oil so sacred and revered that only chaste men and virgins were authorized  to pick the fruit.
The ROMANS planted OLIVE groves and extended OLIVE cultivation throughout their ever expanding empire. Populations conquered by the ROMANS were often ordered to pay their taxes with OLIVE OIL
The Romans could not provide their population with enough local  OLIVE OIL so they built ships for the purpose of transporting oils a great distance. They brought oil from the largest supplier of this precious liquid,  HISPANIA -what is known as present day SPAIN and PORTUGAL.
 OLIVE cultivation declined during the BARBARIAN invasions and during the MIDDLE AGES it became rare and invaluable and was chiefly used for religious purposes. Religious orders owned a great share of the cultivated OLIVE TREES and behind their walls the precious oil could be found at the tables of churchmen.
The OLIVE TREE was brought to the new world by missionaries traveling with Spanish explorers. They carried the OLIVE to NEW SPAIN now known as MEXICO, then to the  CARIBBEAN settlements and on to the mainland of SOUTH AMERICA , PERU, PARAGUAY, ARGENTINA, CHILE and at last to what is now CALIFORNIA.
   Around 1524 FRANCISCAN missionaries planted OLIVE TREES in NEW SPAIN       ( Mexico) as they prepared for new settlements in BAJA CALIFORNIA  they would take cuttings and seeds from existing orchards to their new outposts.During the second half of the 18th century and the early 19th century, OLIVE groves  were established at  19 of the 21 California missions ,only the missions at  San Francisco and Carmel did not have suitable climate for growing OLIVE TREES.
Historically the original purpose of growing Olives was the production of oil, the first oil being produced in 1803. By the mid 19th century Olive Oil was a thriving industry, but then it languished and by the end of the 19th century table olives became the primary product from the fruit of the olive tree and it still is today. However in recent years a number of Californians including myself have been planting trees and harvesting the fruit to make exceptional oil!
Since 1985 the use of OLIVE OIL in the United States has grown exponentially with focus on health , nutrition and an interest in the culinary arts. But not many people know that the OLIVE TREE itself has always been a symbol of abundance,  peace, longevity and wisdom.
Today California produces 99% of the oil produced in the United States, yet it is only 1% of all the olive oil we use,  the other 99% is imported.


                                                                  
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