How were olives harvested in ancient Greece?

With 70% of all production in Greece being Extra Virgin Olive Oil, it is not a quantity but a quality game and everybody abides by the rules. Twenty years ago no mechanical harvesters existed in Crete and the traditional way of harvesting was with long wooden sticks that the farmers used to hit the olives.

How did Greeks pick their olives?

They use the traditional method, in which nets are laid around trees to catch the falling olives. Long sticks are then used to strike the branches and knock off any stubborn olives. Guests are invited to ask questions and learn about the olive harvesting process.

How are olives harvested?

Traditionally, picking olives is done by hand, even in commercial groves. Today, more growers use modern machinery to help them harvest the crop. At the lowest end of the spectrum, this may only mean using a long handled, vibrating tong to shake the olives from the branches and onto nets spread out under the tree.

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How are olives harvested in Crete?

But most olives in Crete are harvested by hand, using the hand rakes to free them from the branches to fall onto the nets. From here, they are gathered and placed in bins. While gathering the olives, the harvesters try to filter out as many leaves and bits of stem as possible.

How did they eat olives in ancient times?

Raw olives were also used to make poultices directly from the tree as needed for medicinal purposes. To this day traditional Hellenic medicine is still practised by the older generation mostly in villages across Greece. Raw olives were most likely eaten mixed with wine or vinegar for maximum nutrition as well.

What time of year are olives harvested in Greece?

Most olives are harvested starting in November, just as the fruit turns from greenish to purple-black. The best time to pick is when the fruit is three-quarters black. It is then that the best bouquet and lowest acidity are achieved. Once picked, the fruit is placed in baskets or sacks and carted out of the field.

What do you do with olives once picked?

The easiest and quickest way to cure olives at home is with water. In this method, the freshly picked olives are sliced or cracked to expose the interior of the fruit, and then immersed in water, which is changed once a day for five to eight days and then soaked in finishing brine with salt and vinegar.

How are Spanish olives harvested?

Pickers will harvest the olives by hand. Usually batting all they can to the ground, then they hand pick some bunches and use ladders to get to those they cannot reach from the ground. The olives are stored in plastic buckets or burlap sacks when picking.

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How do you harvest Arbequina olives?

Pick them when the color is half black or fully black. Avoid fruit that is bruised or has spots, as these can cause rot, and will not store properly. Fresh olives should be processed as soon as possible after harvest.

How do olives grow?

Olives grow on the olive trees planted in the ground in warm temperate climates or indoors in containers or pots in cooler climates. The olive tree adds a beautiful addition to your landscape and yummy olives to your side dishes when grown under ideal conditions.

What time of the year are olives harvested?

Olive trees generally bloom in May, with small cream-colored flowers blossoming throughout the orchards, and continue to grow and start to ripen throughout the summer. Harvesting begins in the early Fall while the olives are still green in color, but are starting to darken.

How many olive trees are there in Crete?

In fact, there are 30 million olive trees on Crete, which produces more olive oil than all of the Greek islands and mainland combined.

Did ancient Greeks bathe in olive oil?

In Hellenistic Greece, athletes applied olive oil to their skin before exercise and competition and then used strigils to clean their bodies afterwards. However, Romans viewed Greek athletics as impractical and decadent, and they adapted the strigil for use in their bathhouses.

Why do Greeks eat so many olives?

Many wonder how this food became such an important part of Greek culture and large part of their diet. Ancient Greeks used olives as there main source of fat instead of meat from animal because they thought it was an unhealthy way of getting fat, since the barbarians (non Greeks) ate that way.

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Who first cultivate olives?

Caruso for that reason believed it to be indigenous to the entire Mediterranean Basin and considers Asia Minor to have been the birthplace of the cultivated olive some six millennia ago. The Assyrians and Babylonians were the only ancient civilisations in the area who were not familiar with the olive tree.