My name is Alissa, and I started Antheia of Chelan with my parents, Kim and Gerry, in 2018. When we began the development of our dreams, the sky was the limit! We envisioned transforming our newly acquired 26 acres of agricultural canvas into three sections: a Grove, a Farm, and a Meadow – complete with all the works; olive trees, lush flower gardens, vegetable gardens with edible tunnels, farm animals, chicken runs, permaculture ponds, and lots of activities for our guests to enjoy. So far, we’ve achieved a lot of that, but the dreaming hasn’t stopped.
Our first summer with Antheia, we planted 166 olives trees in our Grove, made up of 7 varieties, and we truly enjoyed these beautiful trees. They produced olives almost instantly, which we harvested, pressed, and converted some to oil, while brining the rest and jarring them. They were delicious! And I must say – a popular item at family gatherings. This entire process was a new experience for us, and the pride and feeling of accomplishment that came with harvesting and sharing our olives was awesome.
Unfortunately (and I can hear my naysayer neighbors saying, “I told you so!”), our olive trees did not survive our cold winters here in Manson. That first summer was the most excitement we ever got out of them. My parents and I agreed to give them 3 years of effort, love, and optimism. We wrapped them up in the winter with horticultural cloth, covered their bases with wood chips and mulch, fertilized, pruned, and transplanted. No luck. We are left with two surviving olive trees in our greenhouse that are now transferred outside, and then back indoors as the seasons change. Seeing those two trees evokes a strange mix of defeat and hope at the same time.
We have since changed our vision, kept the same dreams but shifted priorities. Through the snags we’ve encountered we have always prospered, constantly reminding ourselves that we are adaptable, capable and driven people, and that the obstacles are the path.
Olives are not our main focus right now, but the desire to share our love for olives is still there, and we still plan to offer olive oil at Antheia one day. After all, we live in a gorgeous wine country – and what pairs better with wine than olive oil?!
Our current focus is one that I am very excited about; another road that I have never been down. I will be starting a big flower garden at Antheia this Spring! Besides our sunflower fields, I’ve never gardened before. But I think it’s an experiment that I’ll be pleased with, no matter the outcome. How much can you really mess up a flower garden, right?
Stay tuned for the fun, the laughs, the lessons, and the beautiful garden updates!