Olive Harvesting: A Thanksgiving Family Tradition

bottles of the 2017 Capracopia Olio Nuovo from the olive harvestOnce again we’ve pressed beautiful, delicious extra virgin olive oil from last fall’s harvest of our Tuscan variety olive grove. Each time I enjoy it over fresh greens or just enjoy by dipping with homemade bread, I’m reminded of that harvest weekend. We had lots of family help, again, and help from a new harvest aid. Here are some details and photos…

our 2017 olive harvest family picture2017 was our 4th full harvest and picking went about as usual compared to the past few seasons. We were lucky to have our dad and co-founder of the farm Ken Bice, here on harvest weekend. Cristi’s mom, Gloria was also here from the beautiful Garden Isle, Kauai, Hawaii. I could not pass up the opportunity to capture images of three generations of the Bice family working together on the farm!

October was warmer than normal here in Sonoma County, which made the olive fruit change to purple earlier than previous years. We actually harvested twice, with the main harvest at the end of October being the earliest we have had since the grove began producing over 5 years ago.

Buckets of olives awaiting the press during our olive harvestWe finished picking again just after Thanksgiving, and the harvest was completed. The second harvest consisted mainly of our Frantaio variety olives as they do traditionally ripen a bit later than the other Tuscan varieties we grow for our Capracopia Tuscan Varietal Oil.

This year we used our “olive catching hammock” for the first time, which Scott said helped in our hand picking system.

The Bice family working together to bring in the olive harvestWe began by raking the olives off the tree with our hands and letting them fall onto the canvas of the hammock.

Next, at certain points we pulled up the small velcro cover in the center to let the olives fall into the bucket—simple and efficient.

Mother and son working together during the olive harvest at Redwood Hill FarmWe could not have asked for a more gorgeous late fall day for the second harvest, the sun warming our fingers as we worked together picking and sorting over the new hammock and filling bucket after bucket.

After delivering the harvest to local Sebastopol olive press, Olive Leaf Hills, we were returned seven gallons of olive oil from the first picking and two additional gallons from the second. Overall this yield was down slightly compared to 2016, but we know that with farming, no two years are ever the same.

It was nice having the early harvest for the Olio-Nuovo it produced, and available just in time for our final farm tours of the season! The fresh olive oil was green, with grassy, pungent notes resulting in a special Extra Virgin oil high in polyphenols. We’ve found the Olio Nuovo excellent as a dipping oil paired with rustic, artisan breads as well as splashed liberally on fresh greens and finished with balsamic vinegar.

You can purchase Capracopia Olive Oil on the farm during our upcoming tour season, click here for the more information and this seasons tour dates. We also have a limited amount of oil from the harvest to ship. If you would like a bottle or two for your pantry or a friend’s, simply send us an email and we will contact you with details and shipping arrangements.

Redwood Hill Farm baby goat kids snuggling together

Our Farm Harvest and Gifts From The Land of Milk & Honey


Thanks to all of you who came to say hello and spend time with us in 2017.

The Redwood Hill Farm harvest is complete and with the colder, shorter days of fall and winter, we look forward to more time in front of the hearth as we browse seed catalogs, plan the spring garden as well as the goat shows we’ll be traveling to next season.

With that planning will be the dates for our spring farm tours and workshops, so please stay tuned! Check back at our website tour page  or join our Farm Community Newsletter and you’ll be the first to have our spring schedule for tours and all the events planned for spring. It’s going to be a special year for us as we’ll be celebrating Redwood Hill Farm’s 50th Anniversary—plan to celebrate with us!

Gifts From The Land of Milk & Honey

Direct from our Sonoma County farm: artisan olive oil, orchard blossom honey and creamy, nourishing goat milk soap are now available for gift-giving (or just for you)!

TO ORDER: Send us an email at with the items you’d like and the shipping address, including zip code. Please include your phone number as well in case we have questions about your order. We will reply to you and confirm the shipping cost and date your gift pack will ship.

 four bottles of our extra virgin olive oil Capracopia Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Enjoy the fruits of our labor in this fragrant extra virgin olive oil. Our olives are hand-picked by family and friends, insuring that the carefully selected fruit is of optimum quality when it arrives at the mill. Rich and complex, with complementary fruity and peppery notes, it is delicious.
250 ml bottle   $16 plus shipping

Capracopia Extra Virgin Olio Nuovo

In central Italy, Olio Nuovo is highly prized and ends up on restaurant tables to accompany almost every imaginable dish! This special oil was our first press of the 2017 season and is green with a grassy and piquant taste. High in antioxidant polyphenols. Enjoy in the traditional method on crusty, toasted artisan bread. Also excellent for dressing greens or drizzling on warm steamed vegetables with a squeeze of lemon.
250 ml bottle   $18 plus shipping

Capracopia Orchard Blossom Honey

We have a few jars left from our summer honey collecting. This honey has the unique characteristics of our abundant fields: lavender, rose, wildflowers, and fruit tree blossoms. Our honey was a very popular item with farm tour visitors this year.
9 oz jar   $14 plus shipping

Capracopia Goat Milk Soap

Hand crafted by a local Sebastopol soap maker, Capracopia Goat Milk Soap is creamy and nourishing to the skin. It is made with Redwood Hill Farm’s fresh goat milk, estate grown olive oil, farm collected honey and other quality ingredients. Pamper yourself!
6 oz bar   $6 plus shipping

Happy Holidays to you and yours and
thank you for supporting Redwood Hill Farm!