Last weekend Erik and I spent a lovely afternoon at an olive brining and olive oil tasting workshop – at Hillcrest Olive Ranch thanks to The Institute of Urban Homesteading.

Only 45min from our house, we spent the morning amongst 130 year old olive trees, learning how to brine our own olives, and tasting ranch pressed organic olive oils.

Hillcrest Ranch in Sunol is a six and a half acre island of 137-century-old olive trees in the middle of 2000 trees in Pleasanton Ridge East Bay Regional Park. The trees, of Picholine, Mission and Manzanillo varieties, are dryland farmed using organic farming methods. Absolutely mesmerizing.

Our jar are now kickin’ it on our preserve shelf in the dark. They’ll be ready in a month or so…

A stunning sunny day, it was one of our weekend long festivities to celebrate Erik’s birthday.

Olive brining was, of course, followed by a delightful picnic with my love.