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The Story of OLIVES

Olives have been cultivated since prehistoric times in Asia Minor. From Iran, Syria and Palestine they spread to the rest of the Mediterranean basin some 6,000 years ago. The olive tree is among the oldest known cultivated trees in the world. They have been growing on Crete since 3,000 BC and are thought to have been the source of wealth of the Minoan civilization. 

The Olive tree is considered to be an evergreen and can live to be over 2,000 years old, with an average life of 300-600 years. They grow 20-40 feet high and begin to bear fruit between 4 and 8 years old.

Today olives are commercially produced in 20 countries, but of the 800 million olive trees growing on earth at this moment, 93% are in the Mediterranean area.

Fun Facts...
  • In Greek mythology, Athina gave the olive to mankind as a gift and in gratitude, citizens of Attica named the city of Athens after her.
  • There are 120 million olive trees in Greece.
  • Early Mideast civilizations believed it could cure every illness except death.
  • The Greeks anointed winning athletes with olive oil.
  • There are 35 species of olives and each olive is about 15 calories.


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