How Was Farming in Ancient Greece?

Farming in Ancient Greece was an essential way of life for the people of that time. Agriculture played a crucial role in the economy and provided food for the population.

The Greeks were primarily farmers, and their agricultural practices had a significant impact on their society. In this article, we will explore how farming was in Ancient Greece.

Climate and Geography

The Greek climate was perfect for agriculture. The land was fertile, and the sun shone brightly throughout most of the year.

The country’s geography also played an essential role in agriculture. Greece had plenty of hills and mountains, which meant that there were plenty of valleys with good soil for farming.

The Crops

The Greeks grew different kinds of crops depending on the region they lived in. Wheat, barley, grapes, and olives were some of the primary crops grown by them.

Wheat: Wheat was one of the most important crops grown by the Greeks. They used it to make bread, which was a staple food item in their diet.

Barley: Barley was another crop that they grew extensively. They used it to make porridge and beer.

Grapes: Grapes were grown primarily in southern Greece. They used them to make wine, which was an important part of their culture.

Olives: Olives were grown all over Greece and used to make olive oil. Olive oil was used extensively in cooking as well as cosmetics.

Farming Techniques

The Greeks had several innovative farming techniques that helped them grow crops efficiently.

Irrigation: Irrigation was one of the most critical techniques used by Greek farmers. They built irrigation channels from nearby rivers or lakes to carry water to their fields.

Terracing: Terracing involved cutting steps into hillsides to create flat surfaces for farming. This technique helped farmers grow crops on steep slopes.

Rotation: Greek farmers rotated their crops to prevent soil depletion. They would plant legumes and other nitrogen-fixing crops that would enrich the soil, allowing them to grow other crops in the same field later.

Tools Used for Farming

The Greeks used several tools for farming, some of which are still used today.

  • Plow: The Greeks used a simple plow made of wood and iron to till the soil.
  • Sickle: A sickle was used to harvest grain and cut grass.
  • Ax: An ax was used to clear land and cut down trees.
  • Hoe: A hoe was used for weeding and cultivating the soil.

The Importance of Agriculture

Agriculture was vital in Ancient Greece as it provided food for the population. Farmers were highly respected in Greek society, and their work was considered essential. The Greeks believed that Demeter, the goddess of agriculture, controlled the fertility of the land, and they held many festivals in her honor.

The Impact on Society

Agriculture had a significant impact on Greek society. It allowed them to develop trade relationships with other civilizations by exporting their surplus food items such as wine and olive oil. Agriculture also led to the growth of cities as people moved closer to farmland, creating urban centers.


Farming in Ancient Greece was an essential part of their way of life. Their innovative techniques helped them grow crops efficiently in a climate that was perfect for agriculture. Agricultural practices had a significant impact on Greek society by providing food, creating trade relationships, and contributing to the growth of cities.