One of the more fascinating agricultural stories in Texas depicts Saundra Winokur and her journey over the past 17 years establishing a successful commercial olive tree orchard just outside of San Antonio. The orchards are thriving and orderly, with lovely facilities to browse and a staff who loves to cook. Open to the public Wed.-Sat., 11 a.m.-3 p.m.

Oliveorchard

They host free tours on Saturdays at 11:30 a.m .and offer a $10 farm-to-table lunch including salad, main course and iced tea. They also host occasional nighttime dinners with paired wines. Check out their website for directions, details, plus a full menu that surprises and delights eaters with creative and original (olive oil ice cream!) starters, entrees and desserts.

Browse their gift shop in person at Sandy Oaks or Pearl Farmers’ Market (Saturdays 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.) or online. They offer several gift packages, including a “Gardener & Artist Takeout,” which for $32 includes bug repellent, herbal salve, olive leaf hand cream, hand cleaner and gardener’s soap — all made on premises with their own locally pressed olive oil. They also offer gift certificates, pantry items such as olive almond brittle ($12), jars of olive butter ($16), jars of olives, bottles of olive oil and more.

Sandy Oaks Olive Orchard, 25195 Mathis Road,
Elmendorf 78112, 210-621-0044

By Josie Seeligson