Olivia Morris is following in her mother Sue Stark’s footsteps and growing olives.

Mrs Stark was one of the original members of the Central Otago Olive Growers group.

“They had a passion for growing extra virgin olive oil and knew Central Otago had an ideal climate for it,” Mrs Morris said.

On Sunday, Mrs Morris and her husband, Stephen, hosted a community day for olive growers to bring their fruit for pressing or for those interested to learn more about the industry.

Mr Morris said about 80 people attended, many new to harvesting olives.

Planting plans . . . Roger ‘Puffer’ Payne of Chatto Creek has two olive trees at home, but plans to plant more.

Fellow olive grower Sandy Black, who with his wife, Jocelyn Robinson, bottles olive oil under the Dunford Grove label, said growers were happy to share their knowledge.

“The great thing about this industry is that anything you need to know, you just ask,” he said.

Lauren and Brian McIntyre bought property in Alexandra arlier this year that included 200 olive trees and they brought their children with them to learn more about growing the fruit for pressing.

Mrs McIntyre said the day gave them basic knowledge about their trees and made them appreciate what was involved in growing for oil.

“We literally didn’t know a single thing about olives,” she said.

“It was really good when we got home, we could see what stage they were at, when before we’d been totally blind.”

Family fun . . . George (5) (rear) and Harry (3) McIntyre pick olives during the Community Day run by Central Otago Olive Growers on Sunday. PHOTO: TRACIE BARRETT