Olive oil to potted soil

Oregon House’s Apollo Olive Oil gets chef endorsement; Tractor Supply awards grants to two local school gardens

A few years ago, I took an opportunity to visit local wineries located along the North Sierra Wine Trail (an annual event held at the end of April). One of the most fascinating stops during that trip was the Renaissance Vineyard and Winery in Oregon House. Run by the Fellowship of Friends church, the grounds are immense and contain everything from gilded Roman-esque statues to exotic animals (French donkeys, camels) to vineyards and olive trees. The wine was fine, but the olive oil and, in particular, the balsamic vinegar, were devine.

I mention this because I recently received an email from Apollo Olive Oil, the company that made those divine indulgences, announcing one of its oils had been featured on a cooking show on the Hallmark channel. Naturally, I checked it out. The segment features the head chef from Southern California’s only AAA five-diamond restaurant making a potted salmon dish (yum). He tells the show’s host that, in serving said dish, he slices up fresh bread, drizzles it with olive oil—specifically Apollo’s Sierra blend, which “actually tastes like olives.”

If you can’t get out to Renaissance, where Apollo is headquartered, I’ve seen their products at stores around town, so keep your eyes peeled.

Diggin’ it Back in September, I mentioned that Tractor Supply was expanding its Dig-It program, popular in New York and Tennessee, to California (as well as Pennsylvania and Utah). The program offers grants to elementary schools for starting or sustaining a school garden. Well, here’s an update, with some good news! Chico Country Day School in Chico and Berry Creek School in Oroville are among 44 campuses in California chosen to receive the $500 grants. In addition, at the end of the school year, each student who participates will get his or her own gardening tool set and a Master Gardener certificate from Tractor Supply. That’s pretty cool!

New One-Stop For Ridge residents looking for a job, help writing a resume or to sign up for programs like CalFresh, they now need to look no further than the local library. The Paradise branch of the Butte County Library recently underwent a remodel and on Tuesday (Jan. 16) held a grand opening celebration for the county’s newest One-Stop satellite location. There, people can find job listings, set up interviews and get help writing resumes and cover letters. Run jointly by the Butte County Department of Employment & Social Services and the Alliance for Workforce Development, other services also are available, such as applying for public assistance programs, including Medi-Cal and CalFresh.

Well-deserved recognition Every year, CHIP (Community Housing Improvement Project) honors those who’ve helped it toward its mission of providing affordable housing to local residents. This year, it’s chosen to name Tri-Counties Bank as Outstanding Partner of the Year, and to present Orland resident Joy Murphy with the Outstanding Service Award. CN&R highlighted “Grandma Joy’s” commitment to volunteerism, particularly when it comes to children living in CHIP housing, in our annual Local Heroes issue in November. Well done!