The first cultivation of the olive tree worldwide took place in Greece, and more specific in Crete.This happened about 3500 BC in the Early Minoan times.In this period the olive tree was in a wilder form in comparison to the tree we know today.
Olive trees dominated the rocky Greek countryside and became pillars of Hellenic society; they were so sacred that those who cut one down were condemned to death or exile. In ancient Greece and Rome, olive oil was the hottest commodity; advanced ships were built for the sole purpose of transporting it from Greece to trading posts around the Mediterranean.
In the 6th century BC, Solon, the great Athenian legislator, drafted the first law for the protection of the olive tree excluding the uncontrolled felling. The olive tree was a symbol in ancient Greece and the olive oil was used not only for its valuable nutritional quality but also for medical purposes.Between the 7th and 3rd centuries BC ancient philosophers, physicians and historians undertook its botanical classifications and referred to the curative properties of olive oil. This knowledge is being "rediscovered" today as modern scientists research and find news why the Mediterranean diet is so healthy.
From this time until today, Greece became the world's most important exporter of qualitative olive oil. The love and high esteem of the Greek olive-grower for the olive tree is passed on from generation to generation and from family to family. With the birth of a child an olive tree is planted which will grow and develop along with the child. When the child starts school at the age of six, the olive tree is ready to produce its fruit. The blessed tree grows up with the family, only it will have a much longer life and will still be around to be tended by the next generation, and the one after that. Each year, it yields its annual crop of olives in return for the labor and love expended on it.