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Olive cultivation over the centuries

Olive Cultivation

Olives have been cultivated since the earliest times of recorded history. With the multiple uses of olive oil we know today it is no surprise that even in the prehistoric times, olive oil was produced. The cultivation of olives has a long and drawn out history and spreads the globe.

The Mediterranean has ideal climate for Olive trees to grow and flourish. The eastern region of the Mediterranean is where olives were likely first cultivated. The cultivation of olives spread across the Mediterranean and with the cultivation of olives becoming commercialized and the knowledge of how to cultivate olives spreading, it made its way to Turkey and Egypt. Greece had the most cultivation of olives and as the Greek colonies expanded, knowledge of olive cultivation were taken to Italy, North Africa and made its way to France. The entire Mediterranean region was soon saturated with olive trees along the basin.

The fact that King David had the olive grove guarded, gives us proof that the Hebrews placed great importance on the cultivation of this sacred fruit. In Greece, if you were to cut down an olive tree from the countryside, you would suffer the consequences of death or exile. Olive oil was the most profitable product in Ancient Rome and Greece. Ships were built for the sole purpose of moving olive oil to the Mediterranean.

The oil of this sacred fruit was infused with sage, juniper, mint, along with many other flowers and grasses. The infusions were used for ointments and cosmetics. A list found buried in the Mycenae tells us the various things added to olive oil in ancient times.

Italy and Spain, providing the ideal sober climates of warm summers and winters filled with rain, now produce most of the olive oil consumed today along with Greece. The resilience and strength of olive trees are proven by their survival through blistering summers and rigid winters. Robust olive trees continue to grow with some trees reputed to be over one hundred years old.

[tag] olive trees history, olive cultivation[/tag]

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