New olive industry grows in South Texas

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After a few years of preparation, the Crossroads’ olive industry is beginning to cultivate interest.

Jim Henry, owner of Texas Olive Ranch, announced last year that he would plant about 200,000 trees on more than 300 acres to expand his operation.

“Two-hundred-thousand trees sounds like a lot, but it’s not,” Henry said. The harvested olives will be pressed to produce cooking oil after the first harvest.

Victoria’s climate and soil conditions are perfect for growing olives, he said. As a result, he has been sharing his information with other farmers.

“The more, the merrier. You can’t have too many,” he said. “It’s a positive thing. What this industry needs is farming people.”

The additional olive farms will help turn the area into a competitive market, Henry said. He hopes to build a processing center on his land in 2015 when his trees are ready to harvest.

Henry said he hopes by then, his processing plant will be operational and ready to process olives from farms all over the Crossroads.

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