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Séka Hills Olive Oil

Séka Hills Olive Oil

Olive oil from one of California's Native Nations.

If you aren’t familiar with Seka Hills oil it’s one of those small, food business stories that makes me smile and gives me hope for more good things to happen in the food world. It’s part of the very positive, environmentally focused, work of the Yocha Dehe Nation in northern California, near the town of Brooks, in the central valley of California, about an hour to the west of Sacramento. The Yocha Dehe are one of the Native Nations in the area. While they once lived across the lands outside of what is now Sacramento they suffered—as did most every native people on the continent—enormously as Europeans took over their land. Through enslavement, disease, government forced relocations, confiscation of their traditional lands they were essentially decimated. 

The good news—if one can frame the end of violent devastation over a four hundred year period in a positive light—is that the Yocha Dehe are still going and are actively doing some great things. As many other Native peoples have done, gaming legislation has helped them to turn their economic fortunes around in recent years by opening a casino.  But where many have stopped there, the Yocha Dehe went further. They have taken most of the money their casino has created and turned it back into sustainable work.

One of the biggest pieces of this work has been to plow a great deal of effort and economic resource into local agriculture. Through return and repurchase the tribe now has many acres of farmland, much of it organic. As Tribal Council Secretary James Kinter, told me, "We are committed to this land, and our impact on the land is an important element in all of our agricultural decisions."

Growing Arbequina olives—originally from Spain—the Yocha Dehe Nation are making a very nice oil that we’re privileged to purvey. It’s got a mellow accessible flavor with the hint of green apple that’s characteristic of Arbequina oils. You can do anything you like with this olive oil—salads, toast, pasta, steak, fish. 

I should mention that Seka is a reference in the Yocha Dehe’s Patwin language to the color blue, a comment on the beautiful shading that the mountains of the region take on in the afternoon sun. 

The oil is golden green, the hills are blue, and the future is delicious.

Extra virgin olive oil
Arbequina olives
Smooth and assertive flavors

The most recent harvest, picked and pressed in the fall of 2021, is very well-balanced. It has a fresh and bright smell and a smooth, buttery texture. The taste is grassy and fruity, like green apple, with a prickle of pepper and a mild bitterness in the finish.

Séka Hills Olive Oil

O-SEK 500 ml bottle
$28
Ships for flat rate

More to learn

Illustration of an olive oil bottle

How to store olive oil

As a very flexible rule, extra virgin olive oil can be stored for about a year. Keep it in a relatively cool, dark place. Heat and light are enemies, so stay away from window sills and stove sides. There’s no need to refrigerate, in fact, we recommend you avoid it.

Read more

Illustration of a person with a basket of freshly picked olives balanced on their shoulder.

How do you know your olive oil is the real deal?

Every couple years it seems a big news story breaks about the dangers of adulterated extra virgin olive oil. The oils in these stories invariably from producers who are blending olives from many sources. They’re mixing less expensive oils in, ones that are possibly not from the region they say they are, possibly not extra […]

Read more

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