In 2002, Greg and Sue O’Donoghue were corporate types, but they yearned for a tree change. They bought a 27-acre farm in Red Hill, planted grapes and olives, and opened this farm shop and cafe in 2010.
Today, Green Olive’s menu is organised by product. Lamb from the Wiltshire sheep in the next paddock, and pork from the resident Berkshire pigs. There’s a thriving veggie patch around the cafe, and a flock of Isa Brown chooks guarded by Pisa the playful Maremma (a type of Italian sheepdog).
The paddock-to-plate philosophy translates to dishes such as minted lamb meatballs with house-made tomato relish, and pork rillettes with cornichons and red-onion marmalade. The cafe’s focus is tapas and wine with meals designed to share. Vegetarian, vegan, gluten- and dairy-free dietary requirements are all catered for.
The family’s established olive grove produces around 10 tonnes of olive oil per year. Oil or leaf extract is also combined with lemon verbena and rose geranium from the garden for a range of body products.
The team produces its own jams, relishes and chutneys from garden crops. Cameron Leith of Passing Clouds Winery turns the on-site grapes into wine. Greg even roasts the cafe’s coffee on-site.
Visitors can take a tour of the farm or do a workshop, such as sausage-making, pasta-making, preserving and butchery. Green Olive aims to be a fully sustainable operation, with solar panels on the roof, rainwater caught in tanks, chooks fed scraps from the kitchen and pigs enjoying waste olives.
Explore Red Hill further in our detailed Out of Town to Red Hill guide.