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S E C T I O N 2 & New restaurants, recipe ideas, and profiles of local chefs. N December 1, 2010 A LSO INSIDE C O M M UN I T Y 28 |C LA SSI F I E D S 35 |R E AL E S TAT E 37 Emptying buckets of olives into the back of a pickup truck at Sacred Heart Prep are, from left, Kyle Koenig, Sarah Daschbach, and Matthew McNamara. Harvesting By Sandy Brundage Almanac Staff Writer Spirit Photos by Michelle Le F ifty olive trees shelter the walkways of Sacred Heart Preparatory School in Atherton, as they have done for 75 years. For most of those seasons, the olives fell to the ground, rotting, but for the Sacred Heart students pick olives and plant friendships past two years, the school community has gathered to harvest the olives and sell the high-quality oil as a fundraiser. The annual harvest started when Paul Sallaberry, who owns an olive grove in Carmel and whose children attend Sacred Heart, asked, why not pick the fruit? He said the idea immediately appealed to the principal, who had to watch the school pay to have carpets cleaned every year as visitors tracked in olive mush on their shoes. Volunteers drawn from the ranks of students, parents, and staff collected green and purple Picholine olives about the size of a thumbnail from dawn to dusk on Sunday, Nov. 14. Teacher Stewart Slafter explained that the two colors don’t indicate two different types of olives; instead, the olives change from green to purple to black as they ripen. “They don’t look anything like they do in food,” said student Adriana Zuno, 16. She and a friend, 17-year-old Danny Mendoza, decided to pick olives to help out one of their favorite teachers — Mr. Slafter — and to take a closer look at how nature works. Some volunteers ride lifts to the treetops, where conversation flows easily in the slanting sunshine between people who may never have spoken before. “You have one thing in common — ‘go olives!’” said Adriana. From Mexico to California In her book, “The History of the Olive,” Dr. Judith Taylor described the olive tree as an immigrant. According to Dr. Taylor’s research, the olive first arrived in Southern California during the 16th century, carried by missionaries from Mexico. Former school administrator Sister Nancy Morris, of the order of the Religious of the Sacred Heart, said the trees eventually made their way north to the school campus, courtesy of Faxon Dean Atherton. Olive branches are a traditional symbol of peace, but in more recent times, olives also represent a battle in California over the labels pasted on each bottle of oil that proclaim “extra virgin,” a premium status in the marketplace. According to Mr. Sallaberry, earlier this year scientists at UC Davis analyzed 19 brands of olive oil, both imported and local, and discovered 69 percent of the imported brands marketed as “extra virgin” failed to meet international standards for the certification. The study also found that only 10 Continued on page 27 On the cover The photo on the cover of Section 1 shows Lauren Mohrman, left, and Katherine Flessel picking olives at Sacred Heart Prep. Photo by Michelle Le of the Almanac. December 1, 2010 N The Almanac N25

The Almanac 12.1.2010 - Section 2

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