We have a new olive oil in our kitchens and we’re smitten. Seka Hills Olive Oil, grown and processed in Northern California, is fruity, peppery, rich and delicious, and we’re grateful to our tea purveyor Jeanne Quan for telling us about it.
Besides flavor, here are a few reasons we love this new pantry staple:
- It’s grown and processed by the Yocha Dehe Wintun Nation in the Capay Valley northwest of Sacramento. We love knowing that our purchases go directly to support the tiny California Indian tribe which produces the oil, and not to a middleman.
- It’s produced sustainably, on ancestral land the Wintun has reacquired.** Seka Hills also farms beef, wine, organic vegetables and honey.
- The olives are grown with holistic farm practices. Good land stewards, the Yocha Dehe use beneficial insects, cover crops, drip irrigation, seasonal rotation. The tribe works with conservation groups to remove invasive species and restore healthy wildlife populations.
- It benefits two groups of native people. Seka Hills is delivered to our kitchens in Seattle and Portland by the Nisqually*** tribe of Central Eastern Washington – which means another community, and one in the Northwest, benefits from our purchases.
** In the 1980s, some of the Yocha Dehe’s ancestral lands were restored to the tribe. Over the next few decades, through casino-generated revenue, they were able to purchase more. Historically, their land ranged from Lake Shasta to the north, San Francisco Bay to the southwest, and the Sacramento River to the east. They now have a just shy of 3,000 acres just northwest of Sacramento.
*** The Nisqually have a distribution business, mainly delivering their own fresh and smoked salmon, but also delivering other native-produced goods