Planting Olive Trees: Palestine

Community Service, Coronavirus, COVID19, Gaza, Olive Trees, Palestine -

Planting Olive Trees: Palestine

Olive trees are a symbol of peace, vitality and victory, and are symbolic of the Greek Goddess Athena, the Goddess of wisdom. This is where the phrase ‘extending the olive branch’ comes from when offering a peace treaty, and why traditionally Olympic games winners received an olive branch.

Symbols of Palestine, olive trees can last for around 1,000 years and are a primary source of income for around 80,000 Palestinian families. But unfortunately, the progressing conflict in the region have led to the uprooting of 2.5 million trees since 1967 - one-third of which are olive trees.

Proof that good things come in small packages, the olive tree rarely exceeds 8 metres in height, but packs a whole lot of punch. It provides food, oil and medicine for hundreds of years. The root system of the olive tree is so robust that it’s capable of regenerating itself even when the above-ground structure of the tree is destroyed by frost, fire or disease. In Tuscany in 1985 a severe frost destroyed many productive and aged olive trees, ruining the livelihoods of many farmers. However when new shoots appeared in the spring and the dead wood was removed, they soon became new fruit-producing trees.

Olive trees are an incredible source of food, income and medicine for the Palestinian people. In Gaza and the West Bank, olive trees are grown on 48% of agricultural land, and have often been cared for by generations of the same family.

In line with our Global COVID19 relief efforts, Vita Sharks have had planted 4 Olive Trees in Gaza, Palestine, earlier this year (correct as of 30th June 2020). Olive trees provide the main source of livelihood for over a million Palestinians, helping to sustain generations to come. The trees are planted twice a year (March and October) and take between 3-5 years to start bearing fruit.

Olive trees also provide the main source of livelihood for over a million Palestinians, helping to sustain generations to come.

The trees are planted twice a year (March and October) and take between 3-5 years to start bearing fruit.

Olives are very high in vitamin E and other powerful antioxidants. Studies show that they are good for the heart and may protect against osteoporosis and cancer. The healthy fats in olives are extracted to produce olive oil, one of the key components of the incredibly healthy Mediterranean diet.


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