Ancient Greek Farmers

It was hard to do farming in Ancient Greece because there was not good soil.

There was hardly any soil and the soil that was there was often dry and hard to plant crops in.

Harvesting Olives


Some believe that only 20% of the land was able to be used to grow crops.

This happened because most of the land did not have soil and the soil that was there was full of rocks.

What did the Ancient Greeks grow on their farms?

The most common crops were:

  • Wheat
  • Barley
  • Olives
  • Grapes


Some of the crops that were grown were wheat, barley, olives and grapes.  All of these crops were very important to the life of the Ancient Greeks.

In October, the crops that were grain would be planted and then in April or May is when they would pick or harvest the grain.

Olives were not picked until February and grapes were not picked until sometime in September.


The main crop was barley.  Barley was important for Ancient Greek farmers because it was an ingredient that was used for making different foods that were important for the Greeks.

Barley was used to make porridge or to make flour so that the Greeks could have bread to eat.  Barley was also a big ingredient in wine.

Olives were used to make oil such as olive oil and the oil was used for both cooking and for burning lamps so that the Greeks could have light.

Grapes were used to make wine, raisins and to be eaten.  Since wine was such an important drink in Ancient Greek, the grapes were needed.

Wine was watered down so that the Greeks could drink it when they wanted.  Wine was never drunk without adding water because it was dangerous to do that.



Farms in Ancient Greece were small and most of the time they only had about five acres of land.

The farms were important to farmers because they would grow their own food to feel their family and they would sell the corps to make a living.


The farmers of Ancient Greece were able to buy or make their own tools.  Some of the tools that they farmers had were ploughs, oxen, sickles and more.

The farmers would use stones to grind their grain and they would use their oxen and other large animals to trample on the ground so that the ground would be ready for the next harvest.

Greek farming Tools


Most of the animals on the farms were chickens, goats, pigs, sheep and cows.

The animals would be used to help do the farming or they would be used to get milk, eggs, meat, wool, leather and they were also used to fertilize the soil so that it would grow the crops better.


The farmers would take food to the marketplace and they would set up stores.

An average farmer would make around 2 drachmas each day when they sold their crops.

Facts About Ancient Greek Farmers:

  • Some of the most popular vegetables in Ancient Greece were cucumbers, onions and lettuce.
  • Farms were usually given to the son after the father passed away.
  • Farming was an important thing for Ancient Greek trading and farmers would trade crops to other lands.
  • Farmers would dig, use iron-tipped ploughs, hoes and sickles to harvest their crops.
  • Most farmers had horses and donkeys, but these were used as transportation more than farming.
  • Some of the foods that were made out of the corps were cereal, wine, honey, cheese and more.

What Did You Learn?

  1. Why was farming hard?  Farming was hard because the soil was full of rocks and was not good soil.
  2. What percentage of soil was good soil to use for crops? 20% of the soil was good for farming.
  3. What were some of the crops that were grown in Ancient Greece? Some of the crops that were grown in Ancient Greece were barley, olives, grapes and more
  4. Why was farming important in Ancient Greece? Farming was important because the farmers used it to grow food to feel their families, to trade at the marketplace and crops were used to trade to other countries.
  5. What kind of animals were used on farms? Farms had animals such as chickens, pigs, goats, horses and more.