*** Please Note *** This event has been postponed due to weather. The new date is Friday, Nov. 16.
Ask any student with his or her head in the books -- or, er, tablets and laptops, these days, we suppose -- what kind of foliage is associated with their school's campus and you might meet with a slightly embarrassed shrug. "Pretty trees?" or "Shrubs with little flowers" are two potential answers, but knowing the local landscape isn't necessarily top of mind for the busy scholar.
And then there's the California Institute of Technology, Pasadena's own mini-city of scientists and star-watchers and people with gigantatron brains. Many a Beaver -- you totally knew Caltechians are Beavers, right? Good -- happens to know their famous campus tree, thanks to one special day, when the annual Caltech Olive Harvest Festival goes down.
The upshot? The pretty stands of trees on the campus occasionally produce olives. Caltech students began experimenting on the olives, in the ways that Caltech students are wont to experiment on things, and discovered a tasty olive oil could be derived from the tiny fruit.
And thus the fall picking day was born. Students and teachers and Pasadena locals and anyone who wants to lend a hand can make for Caltech on Friday, Nov. 9 (Update: See new date above) from 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. The trees are mostly centered around the Olive Walk and Beckman Mall. There will be a Mediterranean-style lunch for purchase, and olive oil tasting during the day, too.
Proceeds from the Caltech olive oil helps fund student activities on campus. Caltech, of course, is nearly synonymous with the Jet Propulsion Labratory, so we do believe we'd dub our special bottle the Mars Rover Special. Food with cosmic beginnings? It's a Caltech tradition.