Olive Harvest-LEAF on the UA Campus


Olive Tree History


In the 1890's, the University of Arizona was still in its early stages of development. The campus was blossoming with revolutionary ideas and experiments that would leave a legacy and inspire future UA students. During this time, a man named Robert Forbes arrived in Tucson, AZ to work at the College of Agriculture and later become the director. He immediately wanted to experiment with some foreign plant life, specifically from the Mediterranean. He worked to plant 295 olive trees on the University of Arizona campus to see if they could survive the arid climate. 


Today, these historic olive trees are one of the UA's many treasures. They provide shade, aesthetic, and beautiful fruit. You can see some of these trees by walking down John E. Roger's Way and Park Ave. Even though these trees are nice to look at, many know that they can create an unwelcome mess. The ripe and fallen fruit rolls onto the sidewalks and stains them, causing the university to spend money cleaning it up. 




About the Olive Harvesting Project


LEAF on the UA campus created an Olive Harvest program in order to focus on harvesting these olive trees for food so that their products do not go to waste. In the fall semester, LEAF, students, community volunteers, and Iskashitaa Refugee Network all work together to harvest the olive trees. The olives collected from this harvest are sent to Queen Creek Olive Mill to be pressed into olive oil, and the oil is sold in the UA Bookstore. This harvest is part of an ongoing effort to increase sustainability on campus. We welcome everyone to participate in this project with us during the fall. 


To learn more, visit our Facebook page.




Find out more about past olive harvest events: