If someone travels from Koroni to Methoni up to Kyparissia, they find themselves amidst a vast olive grove, an ocean of olive trees. The olive tree is for Messenia myth, history, techniques, worship and religion. It's the foundation of life. From the Bronze Ages (1st century BCE up to the Mycenaean era) the area is intrinsically connected with the olive. It's used in multiple ways, both for nutrition and for worship. There are three stages of its production and processing: grinding, extraction and separation; during all three, the Messenians hold fairs, festivals and happenings. The olive is not just a fruit, but the epicentre of life, the focal point of the cycle of the seasons.
The region has 200 olive presses operated by professionals. Families survive by cultivating olive groves which they inherit generation after generation. The roots of the olive tree offer value both to society and the family. The sacred tree gives "liquid gold", the gift of nature with a great biological value: it protects, treats, heals, purifies.
At the village Mavromati we find the land of the perennial olive trees. These are the so-called "mothers" that offer the olive oil of the "Koroneiki" variety, the "caviar" of Messenia, an oil of exquisite quality with very low acidity, an extra virgin olive oil.
Myth recounts that Aristaeus, the son of Apollo taught the secrets of olive cultivation to the people. Goddess Athena of wisdom and prudence has been identified with the olive tree. Here in Messenia, a wreath of olive branches decorates the door of the house that has a newborn baby boy. Olive oil is correlated with the holy myrrh of Christening and Anointing, in other words it is a component of religious ceremonies.