Joseph Sciabica, sons Daniel and Nick, grandson Jonathan, and cousin Ryan Jones, along with 20 full-time employees; olive picking is contracted out.
14 acres in Modesto, about 90 miles from the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market.
The Sciabica family (pronounced “Sha-bee-ka”) began pressing olive oil in California in 1936 using techniques that Joseph’s father, Nicola (“Nick”), learned in Sicily as a young man. The Sciabicas have been farming the same land since 1925. As the oldest Californian olive oil company, the business has passed down four generations.
The Sciabicas maintain soil fertility using natural amendments and synthetic fertilizers. They do not use any synthetic pesticides. All Sciabica & Sons olive oils are 100% extra virgin, unrefined, and cold-pressed on their farm. The oils are pressed separately by variety of olive (much like wine) and harvest date.
Organic Crop Improvement Association (OCIA) since 1991. As of 2003, certification is provided by NutriClean.
⅓ Briones Variant soil and ⅔ Amador soil is fertilized with natural amendments and synthetic fertilizers.
Misters irrigate the trees with water from an onsite well.
Discing and mowing.
They do not use any synthetic pesticides. The only pests the Sciabicas have to contend with are squirrels and rattlesnakes that they control with a 22-caliber rifle. Olives are naturally resistant to disease—they mature at 100 years and can actively produce for over 2,000 years!
When Sciabica & Sons started producing olive oil in 1936, few people in California were using olive oil. For decades, their olive oil was sold in their store in Waterbury, Connecticut.
CUESA (Center for Urban Education about Sustainable Agriculture) is dedicated to cultivating a sustainable food system through the operation of farmers markets and educational programs. Learn More »