How well does Aristotle's abstract definition of nature in the Physics cope with some significant agricultural facts? Are its implications in tension with the workings of artificial teleology? How Aristotle might categorize domesticated plants is problematic: they are neither obviously natural nor obviously artificial. That artificial things generally retain an intrinsic source of change does not help us to settle the status of “living quasi-artefacts.” A survey of Theophrastus reveals that many agricultural techniques go against nature, rather than collaborating with it; and, moving from the practical to the theoretical, the Mechanica might suggest a scientific program at odds with the Aristotelian tradition of passive observation. Reflection on the Historia Animalium exposes difficulties in specifying natural and artificial environments which exacerbate the puzzle, and reinforce the rationale for Aristotelians to adopt an active stance when investigating nature. The Aristotelian olive remains mysterious.