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ANCIENT OLIVE TREES

Αρχαίο ελαιόδεντρο
Αρχαίο ελαιόδεντρο

They come from the depths of time

Minoans have rested in the shade of some of them. They have felt in their trunk many invaders, their roots have been soaked in sweat, tears and blood , they have nourished our ancestors, they have lived through and accompanied many generations, even many of us.

They stand as an irrefutable evidence and living witnesses of our history. They have much to tell to us. We often walk beside. Let us hear them speak.  Let’s make them a gift for our children and grandchildren, let’s give them a chance to love and be loved.

It is our heritage and our culture 

Many ancient olive trees exist in modern Crete, some of them dating back to Minoan times.  The oldest olive tree is estimated to be the Kavousi Olive Tree in the prefecture of Lasithi, where our association is active. The tree is dated from the 15th century B. C.  Its perimeter of base is 22.10m, diameter of base 7.10m, (coordinates 35°07′N 25°51′ )  at an elevation of 252m.  There are hundreds of ancient olive trees spread through the prefecture of Lasithi, often forming stands of individual olive groves. Many of them date to Minoan Years, others were planted (or grafted into a trunk of an oleaster) during the Roman times and others when the Venetians came to Crete, in the 13th century A.C.

Except for the love which their owners embrace with, those trees are not protected by the state, resulting in the uprooting of some of them to make greenhouses or in their chopping for firewood.

As part of our effort to enhance our cultural heritage, we began a programme to register ancient olive trees to protect and get them visited by placing the marking plates needed and by planning routes. Moreover, we stage events (such as day conferences, musical events) to raise the awareness of the local population.  As of the 2016-17 olive year we start a programme for the standardisation of olive oil in collectible packagings and the adoption of the older ones, for the producers to get a financial motivation and for the funding of actions regarding their enhancing,

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