29 Jan A fruitful year at The Olive Farm
It is almost a year since we started all the works at the farm. When we first set foot there the place was totally abandoned, both the cottage and the land. There were no cultivated parts anywhere on the farm apart from an abandoned olive grove, and the land was literally a jungle of weeds, random bushes and rocks. Luckily the cottage was in a slightly better condition, but nobody had lived there for the past 10 years so there was a lot of work that we needed to tackle.
So here we are, almost a year later, having completed quite a miracle. Our wish was to create a small farm that would be our base for all the workshops and of course a wonderful source of organic food!
In the course of the year we have set up a permaculture system, grown our own vegetables, produced our own olive oil, and enjoyed sun-dried tomatoes and herbs from our herb garden beds. If you visit on a Greek Cooking Holiday you will be able to enjoy all this – you can even try our special herbal tea as you relax in the olive grove.
And now, we are nearly there! During the past months we built several totally new structures, including an external kitchen. This cooking area has a central working bench, a gas stove, a BBQ and, best of all, a cob wood oven! (Cob is a mixture of clay and straw that used to be the number one building material in the area). Totally organic and environmentally super-friendly, it requires some skill! It was fun building this, we literally had to mix the clay and straw and knead until it became a uniform mass. It was a hard job but the skin peeling results were fantastic!
Before and after at the Olive Farm
Should we mention the flavor of the food when it has been slowly cooked in that oven? This is something you need to experience first hand!
There is a wonderful deck in the cooking area, surrounded by olive trees, so people enjoy their dinner after the workshop and they tend to linger with a glass of wine taking in the scenery during the warm summer evenings! In winter time there is a different flavor in everything. Our recipes are totally different and we run the workshops in the morning. Most days are sunny so those winter travellers are not missing out on anything – perhaps the experience is even more unique!
We have also built a greenhouse where we store some tropical species during winter and keep our plant nursery. Of course we make sure we enrich our seed bank with heirloom seeds, so if you ever want to bring us a present then please bring us seeds!
There are many secret little corners in the farm, which can perfectly accommodate our plans for the very near future, a shed for our yoga and mindfulness retreats, a pond and a hen house extension. Things are looking good and bright and we will keep you posted with photographs and stories!
Come and see us in 2016 and you’ll get to enjoy a great deal of home produce. Anything we don’t grow on the farm we source locally to benefit the environment and the local economy.