History of Olives
The olive tree is as old as western civilization. History shows that olives grew in Spain 8,000 years ago. Commercial cultivation probably first took place more than 5,000 years ago in Syria. From there, olive farming spread across Greece, Rome, and the entire Mediterranean region. Olives are also considered native to tropical and Central Asia and various parts of Africa. Spanish missionaries introduced the crop to the new world by planting trees in Mexico, California, and South America. Today Spain and Italy lead the world in olive production. The first successful olive tree plantings in Texas occurred in the 1930's.