There are few in the region who aren’t familiar with Grumpy Grandma’s olives. Tim Stone and his wife Lynne produce these olives and extra virgin olive oils from their Morningside Farm in Rosebank. Now that we are hitting peak antipasto platter season, it is a great time to know more about our local olive company.
Five years ago, Tim and Lynne purchased the business from the original Grumpy Grandma, Denyse Hodgson, and have stayed true to her successful formula – continuing to make delicious olives and olive oil products naturally.
Purchasing the business was a happy accident – ‘we were looking for a farming project and were in the right place at the right time. After lots of research we realised our property was perfect with its sloping block for drainage, so we planted 400 olive trees. This year we are looking forward to a really good season’.
Kalamata, green and manzanillo olives are available, with green ones picked earlier from the trees, usually around April. They also sell smoked olives, which they smoke on the property using cherry wood and sell the different varieties in 350gm containers, or you can bring your own container, or purchase in bulk.
Grumpy Grandma’s olives are handpicked. No chemicals or sprays are used in the farming or curing processes. They weed by hand, and to combat the olive lace bugs that can be a problem, they disperse an insect predator native to Australia called the green lacewing, which is hung in baskets through the grove.
The olives are then cured in the traditional way, with salt water and vinegar in an all-natural fermentation process, and are packed every week for the farmers’ markets.
Tim loves manning the stall at the farmer’s markets himself with his helper Rosa. ‘It is just a great atmosphere and there are always interesting characters. I love working outdoors in the sunshine, listening to music, who could ask for anything more?’.
Tim and Lynne recently became grandparents for the first time, and with restrictions easing they hope their daughter and family will be joining them from Norway to help with the harvest next year. If Tim wasn’t such a pleasant character, they could be up for a name change to Grumpy Grandpa’s.