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Central Georgia olive grower expecting big harvest this year

If you visit Five Otters Olive Oil orchard in Eastman, you'll walk through seas of yellow olives hanging from trees.

EASTMAN, Ga. — People use olive oil for their cooking, medicine, and other cosmetic needs. 

On Monday, one Central Georgia olive grower will begin to harvest her fruits, so that you can have your olive oil stocked. 

"I get a sense, a massive sense of peace whenever I'm out in the orchard," Sharon Cobb Flanagan said.

If you visit her olive orchard in Eastman, you'll walk through seas of yellow olives hanging from trees. 

"I'm excited, but also there's so many olives out there," Cobb Flanagan said.

This is the most olives she has seen on her trees at Five Otters Olive Orchard in the last 4 years.

Cobb Flanagan says that weather conditions were one of the factors that impacted last year's crop and almost her business.

She had to change how she sold her famous oil to stay afloat.

"I decided that I wouldn't bottle anymore of the larger size, so it would stretch out and it worked," she said.

This year that's not of concern. She's ready to fill up her bins with plenty of her extra virgin olive oil.

"I think I'm gonna get over a ton per acre this year. I'm convinced of it," she said.

That's over a ton of oil per each of her 12 - 14 acres of olives. 

On Monday 50 people will walk the orchard picking the fruit, and within two days time, she hopes to have it shipped to the mill and returned to her to create her international award-winning oil.

"Our second harvest, I submitted it to an international competition and won gold," she said.

It made her one of four Georgia farmers to win an international oil recognition.

People in other countries want Georgia olive oil. The soil, weather, and growing conditions can affect the taste as well as other factors.

She says they plant a blend of Spanish and Greek olives, and they're excited to see how this year's blend will turn out. 

"The taste is just great, I can't explain it," she said.

You can find Five Otters Olive Oil on her website. 

You can also get it at several stores across Central Georgia like Butcher Block Meat Market in Dodge County, M&T Meats and Harris Kuntry Meat in Hawkinsville, Dexter Meat Company in Laurens County, Huffs in Milledgeville and Dovetails in Macon.

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