Rescue campaign for centuries-old olive trees.

Hundreds of unregistered olive trees on the southern Aegean island of Crete, some of them thousands of years old, have become “victims” of human activities like public works projects and building construction, prompting the reaction of 35 cultural and environmentalist associations.

The collective effort, supported by the Technological Educational Institute (TEI) of Crete, focuses on recording the olive trees and their ages in order to be salvaged. The goal set is to draw up a map of Crete with the regions where the thousands-of-years-old trees are located.

Furthermore, a documentary translated into different languages will be ready by the summer of 2010 referring to the historical olive grove of Crete.

Four olive trees that have been confirmed to be more than 1,000 years old are located in the greater region of Viannos in the prefecture of Heraklion, where tens of olive trees of historical value can also be found. Centuries-old “psilolies” olive trees grown in the region constitute a proof that extra virgin olive oil was produced there hundreds and probably thousands of years ago.


The Olive Tree

I bought a field in Kriti where grew an olive tree,
I watered it and pruned it with assiduity,
Until I found I owned the ground
But did not own the tree.

So I bought the tree, for weeks I thought
The haggling would not stop.
Now I can pick my olives, and start a little shop.
Oh No, they cried, you bought the tree but not the olive crop.

At least I can sit under it, a little seat I made,
Where I could smoke a cigarette and drink some lemonade;
But no, although the tree was mine
I did not own the shade.

In my despair, I cut it down, if not for shade or food,
It might provide a cheerful fire
If that was all it could . . .
Alas, although I had the tree, I did not own the wood.

Anon (As far as I know)