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When it got down to the business of selecting the variety of trees from the many that exist, they decided upon Arbequina from Spain. They are known for their good tasting fruit as well as producing a Georgia Grown good quality olive oil. They are also looking at testing others such as Arbonsana and Tosca from Spain, Salonenque and Tanche from France, Barouni from Tunisia and Lucca from California. Their trees were produced from cuttings from proven varietals since trees from seedlings do not produce fruit.
The Poling’s Woodpecker Trail Farm consists of almost 300 acres with 14 acres presently planted in olive trees with an additional thirty acres reserved for future varietals. Initially they started with 726 trees but backed it down to 226 trees per acre with 12-13’ width rows. They are presently harvesting for 2020.
It is necessary to track fertilization closely which is done by collecting leaf samples as a guide. They constantly track levels of boron, potash and calcium. Nitrogen is introduced as needed utilizing water soluble/fertigation 20 20 20. Trees need 12-20 gallons of water a week. They utilize a pressure balanced drip system with 18-24 inch spacing for emitters. Additionally they add flush valves to each line keeping the drip system clear of air pockets and debris. They selectively prune (remove unwanted branches) the trees to improve the tree’s structure and direct new, healthy growth.
There was certainly excitement in the air in September of 2019 as the couple harvested their first crop of olives. The trees produced one crop of fruit per year in September and October. The couple faced many unknowns in their pursuit since olive production was so new to Georgia and in particular Southeast Georgia. They focused on a good balance of tree nutrition and the water delivery drip system.
The output of fruit per acre varies because of a variety of factors. In the case of the Woodpecker Trail Olive Farm since they are in the business of producing quality oils for consumption, they are more concerned with quality rather than quantity. Their olive oil is cold pressed from harvested olives within hours of harvest. This means they move quickly keeping the olives climate controlled for 24 hours before pressing. Olive oil must have an ultra violet absorbency measurement of less than 2.40 (UV). K232 as considered a critical marker for good quality extra virgin olive oil. Their EVOO is 1.89 UV K323 exceeding international EVOO standards. Woodpecker Trail Olive Farm olive oil always is very high quality EVOO.
After the cold press extracts that olive oil, it is bottled immediately. They then sell their products through value added specialty stores as well as online (www.woodpeckertrailolivefarm.com). Visit their website today and place your order to support this Tattnall County phenomenon.
Awards and RecognitionHard work and doing their homework resulted in the Woodpecker Trail Olive Farm winning a Silver Award at the prestigious NYIOOC World Olive Oil Competition held each spring in New York. This was for their 2019 crop which, of course, was their very first crop. This was a feat for the Poling family to be proud of as well as all of Tattnall County!
Woodpecker Trail Olive Farm has been featured in the Georgia Trends Magazine as well as BoomAthens. The farm is also actively involved with the Woodpecker Trail Association (Highway 121). The group promote Georgia along the scenic route flowing from Augusta to the Florida line. The Polings are encouraging agritourism in the area. They wholeheartedly want to share their farm experience with others. They presently give tours of their farm and hope to encourage that in the years to come. They are hoping to organize bike rides, motorcycle rides and camping along the trail. To that end, they are partnering with a number of other entities as well as add more along the trail.
About Curtis and Tracy PolingCurtis and Tracy reside at their farm south of southwest of Reidsville. Tracy was born and raised in Reidsville and Curtis is from West Milton, Ohio. The couple met in Atlanta, Georgia in 1992 and married in St. Croix on March 23, 2001. They have no children together but do have a Border collie named Samson that Tracy admits “rules the house.” Curtis has three grown children including Andrea Poling and Lisa Poling who both reside in Dallas, Texas. His son, Randy Poling, resides in Pensacola, Florida. When asked if they were any involved with the farm, the response included a little laughter along with, “No, they are city people!”
Tracy works with RCA in medical insurance follow up. She worked from home before the Covid pandemic. She has previously worked at several hospitals doing registration and scheduling and before then was involved in the import/export of meat, poultry and peanuts.
Curtis currently serves as CEO and founder of CN Global Partners based on St. Simons Island. He travels extensively between the United States and Korea. He has been the subject of various news releases including Korean Herald, Forbes and US affiliate publications. He also enjoys strategic relations and networking within the visa immigration agency community and various immigration employment based project consultation.
Tracy in the olive grove
Fall 2018 issue of BoomAthens carried a piece about the northern part of Georgia’s historic Woodpecker Trail (Highway 121). Now we visit the 140-mile southern half of this scenic roadway that has been in continuous use since the early 1900s. In fact, the Woodpecker Trail is older than famed Route 66! This article highlights points of interest you can encounter along the way including the Woodpecker Trail Olive Farm.
Woodpecker Trail Olive Farm is an 2020 international entry in the most prestigious olive oil ceremony in the world. We will announce our award level in May 2020. #olivoil #georgiagrown #iamgeorgiagrown #sustainability
We are proud and overjoyed to announce officially our arbequina (varietal) 2020-2021 Harvest olive oil test results are in. Woodpecker Trail Olive Farm's First Press exceptionally exceeds the certified Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO) levels put forth by the IOOC & COOC for the required chemistry testing which are among the strictest requirements worldwide. https://www.cooc.com/certification-process/ & http://www.internationaloliveoil.org/estati…/…/222-standards Additionally our olive oil exceeded USDA standards for EVOO https://www.ams.usda.gov/…/olive-oil-and-olive-pomace-oil-g…
Woodpecker Trail is a Premium Extra Virgin Olive.
We are so excited! We were just announced as a Silver Award for the Best Olive Oil of the World by the NYIOOC Judges live a few minutes ago May 11 2020. Tasting Sensations -Ripe Olives Cocoa Almond Walnut Almond. We are humbled.
The 2019 harvest was challenging for many producers in many regions. Can you tell us about some of the challenges you faced?
Establishing best mix of nutrition, water and tree varietals mix is pioneering for us in Georgia US. There are many unknowns. We continue to add new varieties of trees. Balance of water has been a challenge considering our higher humidity. We keep close watch over the the orchard daily. We think history will be kind to our efforts.
How do you feel after winning at the NYIOOC? What does this mean for you and your company?
The efforts of our family past and present heritage on this land and our friends encouragements, local supporters continue to drive us. Seeing the trees bring fruit and win this prestigious best olive oil of worlds award is extremely humbling. This recognition provides the incentive to continue our expansions and market awareness of our product.
Woodpecker Trail Olive Farm
2437 Highway 121 Glennville GA 30427, US email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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REAL REVIEWS FROM REAL SHOPPERS: "Great Olive Oil: We were at a villa in Italy that has olive trees and the owner served us some recently pressed oil from her trees and it was wonderful with a fresh peppery taste. My first-time tasting Woodpecker Trail Olive Oil reminded of that oil in Italy, hard to believe it comes from South Georgia. I recommend this oil for dipping fresh sourdough or Italian bread in or serving with fresh home-grown North Georgia tomatoes in the summer. "