The olive harvest was important to the survival of Greeks.

A CASE OF TREE ABUSE? Each year, farmers gathered ripe olives by

But the Greeks were great survivors. Most people lived in the country and worked on farms. Only about 20 percent of the land in the country could grow crops. Greek farmers built terraces, like steps in steep, rocky hillsides, and dug ditches to carry water from mountain streams. Farmers’ main crops were barley , grapes, and olives. They also grew onions, lettuce, and garlic. Pigs, scraggy sheep, and goats could be found on some

beating the trees until the fruit fell down. Then they crushed the olives between stones to get oil. They ate olive oil raw in food and used it for cooking, as a skin cleanser and hair conditioner, and as a medicine. Other ways to use it included softening leather and burning in lamps. Olive oil was so valued that it was also a prize in sports competitions and an offering to the gods.


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