Farming in Ancient Greece

Unlike it's older counterparts in Egypt and Mesopotamia, Greece was generally not an ideal place for farming.

Fertile land in Greece, while very fertile, was scarce. It's clear from looking at Greece from space that mountains are plenty and plains are few.

Greece's climate also makes farming difficult. Generally, the winters are very wet, and the summers are very dry. As a result crops were generally planted in the early to mid fall and harvested in the late spring. Unfortunately, the plentiful rains during the planting season sometimes washed the seedlings away before they could sufficiently take root.

Wheat was the most common food crop grown in Greece, although barley and oats were grown in some regions. Grapes were also grown for wine, and olives were harvested for their fruit and oil. Olives were actually one of the easier crops to grow in Greece because the olive tree's roots grow deep and are therefore able to get moisture in the dry Greek summer.

Farming is Greece isn't the easiest occupation, but clearly the Ancient Greeks got by just fine. Supplemented by goat herding in the highlands and fish harvested from the sea, the Greeks had enough food to build one of the greatest civilzations of the ancient world.