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Agriculture Production

orange fruit treesCrete is one of the most fertile areas of Greece. Most of the land cultivated consists of small farms cultivating traditional products. Starting in the 60's, and due to the temperate climate of the island, there was a big increase in cultivating in greenhouses. The climate provides for the cultivation of olives, grapes, carobs, miniature bananas, melons, peaches, avocados, oranges, tomatoes and numerous kinds of mountain greens (horta) to name a few. The most important, the olive tree, has grown on Crete since Mycenaean times and you will see trees everywhere in the countryside of Chania. An olive tree will flower in April with its first fruit visible by May. In October nets are spread out under the trees and from the beginning of November onwards the ripe olives fall. Since the oil here is so plentiful and of such good quality it is used extensively in cooking. The best grade oil is from the first pressing. In the past oil presses were huge vats in which a round stone was turned manually. Nowadays this is done by machine and the oil is extracted by hydraulic presses. Lesser grade oil is used for soap, creams and fuel. The main products that are currently being exported in the Greek and international (particularly European) market are: Cretan agricultural products

  • Raisins (sultanas)
  • Wine, is a traditional product of Crete, whose production going back to 2000 B.C. This is demonstrated by the remains of ancient vinification plants unearthed by archaeologists, the oldest being the one in Vathipetro close to the city of Heraklion
  • Olives and olive oil. These have also a very long tradition of cultivation in the island.
  • Fresh fruit (mainly grapes, citrus fruits, tangerines, melons, water melons, kiwis, avocadoes and bananas)
  • Fresh horticultural products (mainly cucumbers, tomatoes, potatoes, pumpkins, egg-plants, pepers, beans)
  • Honey
  • Pharmaceutical and aromatical plants and herbs (oregano, dictamus, mint, thyme, laudanum)