Proud to be a Farmer: Olives take off in Tattnall County

Olives in Tattnall County
Olives in Tattnall County(WTOC)
Updated: May. 18, 2020 at 6:37 PM EDT
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TATTNALL COUNTY, Ga. (WTOC) - If each tree at Woodpecker Trail Olive Farm had a flag from its home country, the grove would look like the United Nations.

Curtis and Tracy Poling brought plats here from around the world when they introduced olives in the family timber farm.

“We were living on St. Simons and Curtis said, ‘you know, we should move back to the farm.’ I said, ‘well, what would we do,’” Tracy Poling said.

Curtis researched ideas and learned how settlers planted olives here back in the 1500's.

“The Spanish came in and planted olive trees on Cumberland, and St. Simons all the way to South Carolina,” Curtis said.

Curtis said you can blame the British for Georgia's olive crop disappearing. When they colonized, they brought their diet with them and the Mediterranean touches went away until just a few years ago.

The Polings are one of only a dozen or so olive farms in Georgia. Last fall, they pressed their first olive harvest and bottled the oil. They submitted it to international competition and picked up a silver medal in their category. They say the award helps affirm their resolve to do something others haven't.

“To put a tree in the ground, watch it grow over the years and then produce fruit.”

That experience makes them Proud to Be Farmers.

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