The Olive Project
Organized by: James Sass
We have started planting new olive trees again and got 200 in the ground this weekend.
October 03, 2016
THE OLIVE PROJECT - Growing a Secure Future for Rural Families
My name is James Sass. Five years ago, while living and working in San Rafael, Argentina, I started The Olive Project, a non-profit organization to aid poor rural families develop sustainable income, obtain adequate homes, and work toward a real economic future. I purchased several abandoned farms, renovated old houses, and found needy local families to live on the farms. I began planting olive trees on the farms (to date we have planted just over 10,000 trees), and I paid the families to maintain the trees. I have 22 families now living on the farms, and last year our trees began producing olives for the first time. We have started selling our organic olives and olive oil. Along with our olive production, we are producing homemade bread and cakes baked in wood-fired ovens and jars of apricot and plum jam made from our fruit trees that the families sell at our booth in the local farmers market. We urgently need to plant more trees and purchase additional farming equipment to keep this project going and growing, and we are hoping to recruit up to 50 volunteer workers a year to come to Argentina for a week to assist in planting and harvesting. I am now 71 years old, and regrettably I am retiring for health reasons. I no longer have the income to support The Olive Project without your help. Our goal is to raise $250,000 to plant and maintain 50,000 olive trees until they are producing olives. With the production from 50,000 trees, The Olive Project would be self-sustaining, and it would provide a secure economic future for 35 families. For your donation of $50 or more, we will send you a large jar of our olives and 500ml of our olive oil from the 2017 harvest, and if you make a donation of $100 or more, we will provide you with free housing and meals for a week if you want to visit Argentina next year and help with the Project.
Your donations will help renovate additional farm homes for our participating families, purchase a used passenger van to take the young children of our farm families to school in bad weather, buy a larger tent for our farmer's market stand, buy a new plow and other implements for our tractor, and of course, buy and plant olive trees.
It is now the season for planting olive trees and our families are ready to start planting, but we need funds to buy the young trees to plant. Even small donation of $5 will pay for one tree so any amount you could give us would be welcome and appreciated.