The gnarled and ancient olive tree…..a symbol of peace, wisdom, prosperity, fertility, friendship, unity; a gift from the goddess Athena, it is seen as the eternal link between man and earth. The olive tree is known for the fruit it bears, the uniqueness of its wood and its sustainability.
3,000-year-old olive tree on the Island of Crete still produces fruit
The olive tree’s natural habitat is the Mediterranean region…..its origins, however, begins in Greece. According to Greek mythology Athena and Poseidon were vying for control of Athens. Poseidon struck a rock with his trident and the world’s first horse, a symbol of bravery and strength in war, leapt out of the rock. Athena hit the ground with her javelin and out of the earth sprang an olive tree, a symbol of the prosperity peace generates. Needless to say, Athena’s olive tree was chosen the winner.
From Greece the olive tree has traveled the world over making its way to Tripoli, the island of Sicily and from there to North Africa, the Middle East and Spain; crossing the ocean from Seville to the West Indies and then to the South America, Mexico and California. We benefit and take pleasure in this gift from Gods thousands of years later in every corner of the earth.
The olive tree is also a key weapon in the fight against climate change, providing a positive carbon balance. The tree takes more CO2 out of the atmosphere than it emits during the production process of olive oil. UNESCO has officially recognized November 26 as World Olive Day, highlighting “the role of olive growing in sustainable economic and social development, but also as a key weapon in the fight against climate change.”
The olives tree’s special gift is the olive and the oil it produces. Used for everything from to curing diseases to preparing delicious and healthy food; moisturizing the skin to fueling the eternal flame at the Greek Olympics. Olive oil and table olives are now widely recognized for their medicinal and nutritional properties regarding the prevention of certain diseases.
Not only is the olive tree a powerful symbol, it also know for its resiliency and toughness, measured growth, longevity and especially its endurance, surviving a myriad of natural and man-made challenges. The olive tree’s regeneration capacity (thanks to their dormant buds) can overcome fire, and it uses only the water it requires without draining all the minerals from the soil.
The olive tree is not listed as a threatened species and is a sustainable choice for both its fruit and its prized wood.
The unique wood of the olive tree is incredibly strong with natural anti-bacterial properties, making it the perfect companion in your kitchen or bathroom. Ideal for soap dishes, chopping boards and cooking utensils, the wood of the olive tree doesn’t wear and fray as rapidly as “regular” wood. Woodworkers prize the exceptional patterning, producing some of the most distinctively beautiful artisan products, including furniture, that will last a lifetime,.
The olive tree……sharing its abundance with civilizations for thousands of years. A true miracle of nature.