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Flatlands Oil & Mill


100% organic

grown & milled in winters, california

a focus on unique flavors & truly fresh oil

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Flatlands Oil & Mill


100% organic

grown & milled in winters, california

a focus on unique flavors & truly fresh oil

unique practices, unique flavors

As the trend in agriculture and olives pulls farmers to go big on acreage and small on olive varieties, we trend the other direction.

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Oil that tastes like it used to


condiment, ointment, elixer, food. olive oil has been many things. what it’s not (on our watch) is bland.

Oil that tastes like it used to


condiment, ointment, elixer, food. olive oil has been many things. what it’s not (on our watch) is bland.

The three primary positives are fruitiness, pungency and bitterness. Yes, pungency and bitterness... Olives naturally contain various compounds that taste bitter or pungent, and these compounds are the antioxidants and other phytochemicals that make olive oil so good for you... Bitter flavors are part of many cuisines: think of the taste of Campari for example, or of bitter salad greens. And pungency (aka peppery or picante) is also prized by many cultures.
— Alexanda Kicenik & Paul Vossen, "First Press" 2007

Learn more about Flatlands varietal oils and blends:

OUR OLIVE VARIETALS & BLENDS →

PURCHASE →

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Why Freshness Matters


olive oil and wine – 2 art forms with very different science behind them.

Why Freshness Matters


olive oil and wine – 2 art forms with very different science behind them.

Unlike wine, olive oil doesn’t get better with age. Compounds that make oil tasty, spicy, and good for your body break down in the presence of light, heat and oxygen. With olive oil, food miles can matter. Store your oil in a cool, dark place. Use it once it’s open. We believe in getting oil to you that is as fresh as it can be. That's why we mark each bottle with the date harvested and why we distribute through a club, enabling us to bottle oil just before handing it over to you. How to get your hands on Flatlands Oil →

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About the farm


About the farm


The lack of congruence between soil maps and parcel maps is well known to farmers. They come to know their land well, and recognize that despite it flatness and seeming uniformity, the soils are variable. And so they adjust their practices accordingly.
— Mike Madison, "Walking the Flatlands"

The Flatlands

Our trees sit at the edge of the Sacramento Valley flatlands. They're not nestled into hills, but planted where its mild enough to keep olives from freezing, hot enough to kill the fruit flies that are scourge of the miller: land on which the sea has left ages of nutrients. Along one side of the property is Putah Creek and a wide riparian corridor, lined at its edge with graceful old olive trees. The branch on our bottles is drawn from these trees. 

THE FARM & PHILOSOPHY

Olives are a drought tolerant tree. Sturdy for hundreds of years, they survive years of little water, creating oil that is bolder and high in healthful polyphenols. Olive trees require few fertilizers and minimal pest management, allowing us to minimize the use of expensive and energy intensive off-farm inputs. 

We farm organically alongside our mentors and friends, Mike & Dianne Madison of Yolo Press & Yolo Bulb, from whom we lease our trees. The grove includes sixteen varieties of olives, a wide range of perennial and annual crops, numerous hedgerows, and owl, hawk and insect habitat that all serve to support a healthy and diverse ecosystem.

Our Priorities

As farmers, we are committed to creating strong local and regional food systems that provide affordable food from farms that are in tune with local ecology. This is a commitment Mike and Dianne made when they established the farm nearly 30 years ago and that we are proud to help carry on. 

On average, the land we farm is flat. On a finer scale, it has geologic variations, mounds that squirrels have dug, bumps of compost, terraces that step to the creek's banks, and furrows that we have carved. Land in the central valley used to have more of such subtle and not so subtle variations, but the larger the equipment and the parcel, the more uniform things become. Flatness is a product of scale - scale at which you look and scale at which you work. We named our company Flatlands as an embrace of the valley floor, but also to prompt a closer look - a look that reveals the rise and fall, variation, and strength of land that might seem, through a car window, a monotonous landscape. This is our approach with the oil we produce as well, believing that high quality olive oil shouldn't be a flavorless, disappearing background, but rather an integral part of life, with all it's subtleties, variations, and strengths.

- Susan Ellsworth & Colin Dixon, Flatlands Farmers