|Kalamata municipality in Greek region Peloponnese(Photo credit: Wikipedia)|
The city of Kalamata sits on the Nedon river overlooking the beautiful Messenian Gulf in southern Greece. Kalamata is famous for its Byzantine churches, its 13th Century castle and of course, for giving its name to the Kalamata, or Kalamon olive.
Kalamata is home to the almost mythical Mother Olive Tree. This huge fruit bearing olive tree is thought to be over 800 years old and has escaped being destroyed when olive groves in their thousands were destroyed by invading armies.
Further back in Greek history some of the Kalamata olive trees were called moria trees. Moria trees were held to have been grown from the original olive which the goddess Athena caused to grow up on the Acropolis in Athens. Moria trees were so important, and the oil pressed from their olives considered so vital to Greece that individuals were not allowed to own them. All moria trees were the property of the state.
Homer wrote about the olives being grown in Kalamata, and our Kalamon olives may well grow on trees descended from the very trees that inspired Homer. In many olive groves today, the methods for growing and harvesting Kalamon olives have not changed much since Homer’s time. The olives still grow slowly in the Mediterranean sun, they ripen gradually through the late Autumn until in the early winter they are ready to be shaken loose from the trees and collected by hand from the nets spread under the trees to catch them.
|English: Olives on tree in italy (Photo credit: Wikipedia)|
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