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HCO : Olive Wood : Holy Land

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     The Olive Tree is native to the Holy Land where it has been cultivated from ancient of days.  According to historians of antiquity, the first olive groves took root in the Holy Land and along the coast of the eastern Mediterranean around 4,000 B.C.  It is a slow-growing tree and is productive during its lifetime and can reach heights ranging from 10 to 40 feet.  At approximately age 200, the trunk disappears and shoots develop at the base of the trunk.  These shoots eventually grow into a new tree, thus giving the Olive Tree the reputation as the “immortal” tree.   Since the days of Noah, the olive branch has been a symbol of peace and goodwill.

     The Olive Tree continues to play a significant role in both commercial and spiritual life in the Holy Land.  The Olive tree is productive for centuries.  The olives harvested from the Olive Tree produce both food and oil.  The oil from the olive is used in making soap and from the necessary trimming and pruning of the branches; artisans that have learned their craft from their parents and grandparents carve out unique and beautiful art.   Even the scraps of wood that is left over can be used for fire to cook and for heat. The wood shavings are given to the animal farmers for use to put on the floors of their farms to keep it clean or used to heat indoor homes and offices.

     From terraced groves to woodcraft sculpture to fragrance and soap production, the Olive Tree offers up beauty, sustenance and a subtle reminder of His provision and eternal presence.