What Plants Were Grown in Ancient Greece?

When we think of Ancient Greece, we often imagine grand temples, philosophers, and epic battles. But did you know that the Greeks were also skilled farmers who cultivated a variety of crops? Let’s take a look at what plants were grown in Ancient Greece.

Grains and Legumes

Grains were a staple in the Greek diet, with wheat being the most commonly grown crop. Other grains grown included barley, rye, and millet. Legumes such as lentils and chickpeas were also cultivated.

Olive Trees

The Greeks were known for their love of olives, and they grew olive trees throughout the Mediterranean region. Olives were not only eaten but also used for oil, which was used for cooking, lighting lamps, and even as an early form of currency.

Grapes

Grapes were another important crop in Ancient Greece. They were used to make wine, which was a significant part of Greek culture. Wine was consumed at meals and during social gatherings such as symposia.

Fruits and Vegetables

Ancient Greeks grew a wide variety of fruits and vegetables. Some popular fruits included figs, pomegranates, apples, and pears. Vegetables such as onions, garlic, lettuce, and cucumbers were also commonly grown.

Herbs

Herbs played an important role in Greek cuisine as well as medicine. Commonly grown herbs included oregano, thyme, mint, rosemary, and parsley.

The Importance of Agriculture in Ancient Greece

Agriculture was essential to Ancient Greek society. Farmers provided food for the population and helped to sustain the economy through trade. The Greeks recognized the importance of agriculture so much that they had a goddess named Demeter who was associated with agriculture and fertility.

  • Fun Fact: Ancient Greeks believed that Demeter taught humans how to sow and harvest crops.

In conclusion, the Ancient Greeks were skilled farmers who cultivated a variety of crops such as grains, legumes, olives, grapes, fruits, vegetables, and herbs. Agriculture played a significant role in Greek society and was essential for the population’s survival.