I am so thrilled to report that I am now the happy caretaker of two olive trees! They are in 5-gallon containers, and I was very pleased to learn that my local, non-chain store nursery had them. I went online and found non-local sources for trees but the prices were a bit higher and often require that I purchase a minimum of 20 or more trees. Having a local source for these trees also gives me the opportunity to support my community.
The labels on these trees were nondescript so I am not entirely sure what variety they are. Both of the trees have these tiny buds of what will become (hopefully) olives, as shown here. I am eager to see what the fruit yield will be from these young trees.
Why grow olives at home, especially on such a small scale? I had a wonderful experience curing homegrown olives that were gifted to me last December. After curing and marinating, the results turned out great, very flavorful and delicious. Friends have already asked for future batches, and now I can! I plan on growing, curing, and marinating them to give as gifts to my olive-loving friends as well as to enjoy myself. What better motivation? Depending on the yield, I may get more trees!
In the US, most of the olives are grown in California. For more information on olives, including detailed information on their care, common pests, and diseases, please see the UC Davis Olive Center at the Robert Mondavi Institute: http://olivecenter.ucdavis.edu/