One of the major occupations of the people of ancient Greece was agriculture and farming. Though farming in ancient Greece was difficult due to the infertile land more than 50% of the population used to indulge in agricultural activities. As Greece had fewer plains and more mountains farming was difficult.
Ancient Greece Farming
The climate was also a problem. The summers were hot and dry while springs had enough rains to wash away crops that had weak roots. What were the major crops cultivated in ancient Greece? Although what they actually cultivated was Barley, wheat back then was used more as a generic cereal name.
Almost 90% of the production of cereals was of barley as its demand was high and it was easier to cultivate than actual wheat. Wheat and barley were generally planted around the month of October and harvested in the summer i.e. in April and May.
Olive was one of the easier crops to be grown in Greece as its roots grow deep and hence are able to get moisture even in the hot and dry summer. Late autumn to early winter were the months for Olive harvesting. Olives were then left to ferment and only after a few weeks they were pressed. Olive oil was used as cooking oil as well as in oil lamps.
Greece Agricultural Products
Grapes were the main fruit that was cultivated in Greece and was primarily used to make wine. Grapes were normally picked around the month of September and were crushed by feet before they were kept for fermentation. As the spring set, the farmers used to take advantage of the rainfall in the region to bring fallow ground back to production.
Most of the farms in Greece were small in size and hence the production was also less. Usually, farmers were able to produce only to feed their families and a little surplus which they would sell in the local market. Some farms were big in size which was mostly owned by rich people and worked in by poor farmers who did not have lands of their own.Hence, although difficult, farming was one of the main occupations in ancient Greece.