Venrick is well-known to many in West Volusia; he retired in 2010 from his job as a Volusia County extension agent specializing in commercial horticulture. While working as a county extension agent, Venrick heard of a Marion County resident who was successful in growing olives, and, intrigued, Venrick went to visit the grove. He was favorably impressed.
Venrick planted a couple of olive trees on the west side of the Agricultural Center in 2005. The trees are still there, and healthy, as is one he planted at his house.
After Venrick retired and opened Quality Green Specialists, customer Allen Green in Port Orange decided to replace some orange trees with olive trees, taking Venrick’s advice. Green’s trees, planted 2008-09, were bearing fruit in the fall of 2010.
“The trees were full of olives,” Venrick said. They are still doing well.First-ever 'Florida Olive Forum' comes to DeLand Saturday, Feb. 22,