What Was Farming Like in Ancient Greece?

Farming was a crucial aspect of the ancient Greek economy. The Greeks were primarily an agricultural society, and farming was one of the main occupations of the people. The fertile soil and favorable climate of Greece made it an ideal place for growing crops.

Agricultural Practices in Ancient Greece

The ancient Greeks followed traditional farming practices that were passed down from generation to generation. They relied on manual labor and simple tools to cultivate their land. The most commonly grown crops in ancient Greece were wheat, barley, olives, and grapes.

Land Use

Land ownership was a significant issue in ancient Greece. Most land was owned by wealthy aristocrats who leased it out to tenant farmers. These tenant farmers cultivated the land using traditional techniques such as crop rotation, plowing, and fertilization.


Irrigation was critical in ancient Greek agriculture because rainfall was often not sufficient to support crops adequately. Farmers used various techniques such as digging canals and building dams to bring water to their fields.


Harvesting was typically done by hand using sickles or scythes. After harvesting, the crops were threshed using flails or trampled by animals to separate the grain from the chaff.

Agricultural Festivals

Agricultural festivals were an essential part of ancient Greek culture. These festivals celebrated the harvest and honored various gods associated with agriculture. One such festival was the Thesmophoria, which honored Demeter, the goddess of agriculture.


In conclusion, farming played a vital role in ancient Greek society. The Greeks relied heavily on agriculture for their livelihoods and celebrated it through various festivals and rituals. Despite their limited technology and resources, they managed to cultivate a variety of crops using traditional methods that are still relevant today.