At Wild Poppies Olive Oil, we are thrilled to provide premium EVOO to our neighborhood and community, a network of good people who love cooking good food. Sisters-in-law Kimberly Null and Jamie de Sieyes are the people behind the poppies, and our love for local food and farms with a desire for family-friendly careers led us to produce olive oil. We now harvest six varietals of Tuscan and Ligurian olives that thrive in our coastal climate of the Santa Cruz Mountains.
We’re in our third year of farming olives. At first, it was a steep learning curve coming from non-farming backgrounds. When Chris Banthien (who in the 1990’s planted the olive orchard we now lease) agreed to mentor us, everything came together. We educated ourselves and adopted the best practices to make the freshest and most flavorful EVOO, even when that means driving our olives straight to the mill after a long day of harvest, picking through the day’s harvest olive by olive, or transferring oil at the slowest flow rate. Our love for the environment drives many decisions at the orchard, from investing in electric harvest rakes to using organic sprays. But when our customers clear their throats, smile, and say – ” Wow! I can smell the cinnamon in your taggiasca!” – we’re happy farmers and the effort feels worth it.
We’ve built our business by rolling up our sleeves and pulling on our matching overalls (yes, it’s true!). When we are not working in the olive orchard, we can be found at our farmer’s market stand, tasting oil with a local chef, or hand bottling our EVOO tin by tin. We strive to educate our customers on EVOO during our market days, explaining certification or harvest techniques, sharing tasting notes and recipes.
A sign hangs in our bottling barn that reads: “The best is yet to be.” We work hard, we enjoy our work, and we’re fortunate to have amazing, award-winning olive oil. Here’s a cheers to the harvests yet to be!