Lodestar Extra Virgin Olive Oil is pressed from Mission Olives, the traditional olive of California. Jamie Johansson, owner/farmer of Lodestar Farms, has been cultivating his family’s 80-acre orchard in Oroville, Calif. since 1993. The 115-year old olive orchard is surrounded by an agricultural community that is committed to farming and preserving the land in Butte County.
Johansson, who also serves as a Butte County Farm Bureau director and 1st Vice President of California Farm Bureau did not start off as a leader in the agriculture or olive oil world. In fact, he was studying political science at Colorado State University and doing an internship working on farm policy for then Kansas congressional candidate and now former Congressman Jim Ryun. Johansson’s passion agriculture combined with his desire to see positive political change led him to choose a career path as a first-generation farmer in California.
When Ryun went to take his new Congressional post in Washington DC, Johansson decided to come back to Oroville and farm the olive orchard his father had recently purchased. He learned about Butte County’s rich history of making olive oil while teaching himself how to farm.
In 1993, olive oil was surging onto the “foodie” scene in the Bay Area and with Johansson’s passion for his product, he decide to bottle, brand and sell his own olive oil. In 2005, Johansson and his wife Nicole opened the first olive oil tasting room in Butte County.
With their success providing high quality flavorful olive oils, the Johansson’s have been able to expand the original 20 acres of olives to now 40 acres and plant a few acres of oranges and lemons as well. They take pride in supporting local farmers and businesses so what they can’t grow or do on their own they source locally.
The oranges and lemons grown on the farm are pressed with the olives to create naturally flavored olive oils in addition to the extra virgin olive oils and the balsamic dipping oil that Johansson seasons himself. He also grows a large garden of peppers which he uses to make his own grill seasoning and hot sauce, not to mention a coup of chickens that produce fresh eggs. All of which can be purchased at the farm.
In addition to their own products, Lodestar Farms also supports other local farms and businesses by caring their products in the tasting room. You can visit the Oroville tasting room Fridays and Saturdays from 12pm – 5pm or online at www.lodestarfarms.com. You can also find them on Facebook and follow Jamie on Twitter at @jdjohansson.
Try out Lodestar Farms olive oil in this delicious summer salad recipe!
Lodestar Lemon Olive Oil Vinaigrette
2/3 cup Lodestar Lemon Olive Oil
1/4 cup Seasoned Rice Vinegar
2 tablespoons Water
1/4 teaspoon Ground Ginger
Salt & Pepper to taste
Shake well and enjoy!
Dried Cranberries (cranraisins)
Crumbled Blue Cheese (California’s Point Reyes is one of our favorites)