`Farmers in Ancient Olympia Are Restoring Olive Groves Destroyed in Last Year's Fires - Olive Oil Times

Farmers in Ancient Olympia Are Restoring Olive Groves Destroyed in Last Year's Fires

Aug. 1, 2022
Paolo DeAndreis

Recent News

Local farm­ers are plant­ing approx­i­mately 135,000 olive trees in Ancient Olympia, on the west­ern edge of the Peloponnese penin­sula.

Officials cel­e­brated the suc­cess of the ini­tia­tive to restore the iconic olive tree forests dev­as­tated by wild­fires in August 2021.

A few hun­dred olive pro­duc­ers, in the gray land­scape of the fire, are smil­ing again.- George Georgiopolous, mayor, Ancient Olympia

Last summer’s wild­fires resulted in the destruc­tion of more than 400,000 olive trees, which has sig­nif­i­cantly impacted the local econ­omy.

The lat­est effort to plant Koroneiki saplings added to the sev­eral hun­dred thou­sand trees planted since the start of the Replanting Ancient Olympia cam­paign, which has received fund­ing from the American-Hellenic Chamber of Commerce and the Arete Fund, a California-based non-profit.

See Also:2022 Wildfire Season Expected to Be Europe’s Worst

Our crews looked to find the right nurs­eries in the whole coun­try, then bought the saplings and trans­ported them to the area, where they were dis­trib­uted to the affected grow­ers,” said Giannos Grammatidis, the direc­tor of a non-profit and for­mer pres­i­dent of the American-Hellenic Chamber of Commerce.

We know very well that we did not cover all of the dam­age, but a sig­nif­i­cant part of it,” he added. I wish we had the means to do more.”

Advertisement

Among the atten­dees of the cer­e­mony was Adonis Georgiadis, the Greek Minister of Development and Investments, who called the restora­tion effort his legacy for this holy place.”

Georgiadis warned that wild­fires would likely become more com­mon­place as a result of cli­mate change and farm­ers would need to pre­pare accord­ingly.

I want to praise this pri­vate ini­tia­tive, which was once again directly involved in the restora­tion of a huge nat­ural dis­as­ter,” he added.

At the town hall, a local ele­men­tary school choir opened the cer­e­mony. Afterwards, a stone memo­r­ial was unveiled amidst the burned groves to cel­e­brate the suc­cess of the cam­paign.

The stone bears the image of an olive tree and a few verses of Elytis, the Nobel lau­re­ate Greek poet who passed away in 1996.

In front of the town hall, a 250-year-old olive tree was also planted dur­ing the cel­e­bra­tions.

A few hun­dred olive pro­duc­ers, in the gray land­scape of the fire, are smil­ing again,” said George Georgiopolous, the mayor of Ancient Olympia. Maybe their new olive trees will bring income again in five to six years, but they now know that in this great test they were not left alone.”

There must be the same response from the gov­ern­ment to our basic request for the restora­tion and recon­struc­tion of the fire-dam­aged area and at the level of infra­struc­ture so that this great place can be regen­er­ated and devel­oped,” he con­cluded.



Olive Oil Times Video Series
Advertisement

Related Articles

Feedback / Suggestions