alaskan mill @ the watermill

the winter was tough this year… cold weather, gunshots everywhere, much work and problematic relationships in the house resulted to crisis… but with the spring came new ideas and the motivation levels are high once again !

in the last two months many things have taken place, with the majority of the time still spent into sorting and pilling the wood from the pruning… this sure looks more neat, but there s a bit more to go

the biggest news since the climbing wall is called the alaskan mill and is a chainsaw configuration to cut planks from tree logs. We used it for some old dry cypress logs and some eucalyptus branches (huge) and we got some really nice building material

check out a video here

not so fun as the chainsaw, was the planting of 70 wine vines between the olives, drilling through the stones !

the new microswales infront of the house are looking good with the first rain, and made it much easier to plant some more edible this time, vines.

another big job was cleaning the goat shed of a local shepherd (friend of a friend) with 200+ animals and in return getting all (!!!) the manure back, just in time for the spring fertilizing ! big thanks to Dimitris a good friend from chalkida that has been around a lot lately and was the one that made the connection.

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and finally business as usual are the spring/summer nurseries

bye for now, enjoy the spring

happy wood year

happy new year!
this post will be short because since the last post most of the time we have been pruning. it s been many years since the last good pruning of the field, and now we have much to work on.
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this also means tons of wood… picking, cutting and piling are in the daily basis these days.
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apart from that there s a lot of wood curving going on, making small articles for the house, and on the garden side there was the garlic planting of the year.
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the snow came this year again after one year break, and as always gives wonderful scenes for photos

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for the last part as usual some varied photos, with a lot of cooking, cats and dogs and weird characters

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going forward, one stone at the time

one month after the end of the harvest and the place is already changed ! the last element (i guess for now…) of the transformation of the area behind the house was some terracing. So after 2 weeks of digging, dry stoning and a bit of planting changed this

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gradually

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to this

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in spring it ll look much better with all the herbs, flowers and bushes covering the bare soil.

another big work was the creation of some new planting beds in order to start a rotation of the summer veggies and especially the tomatoes and not having them in the main garden for next two summers.

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this year we are experimenting with wheat production to see how much of the flour needs of the house and with what cost, we can cover with our own crop over half an acre approximately. So with the help of Christos we learned how to use the tractor to till the land and prepare the field for the seeds and then we sowed wheat together with some vetch and we are now hoping for some rain 🙂

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apart from these main activities, there was some household works

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some tree and bushes planting

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more harvesting of beans for the winter, but also the last veggies from the garden and finally making jams and carob syrup (this time not using gas)

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see you next month

yin yang

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let s o live together

after the summer, come the olives… this year it was the shortest harvest so far. Not many green olives, not many for olive oil and no kalamata, together with more than usual enthusiastic olive pickers it resulted in just a month and a half of work whereas it usually lasts at least three. So not much money this year but plenty of time for other projects which are under planning at the moment.

many thanks to all that contributed for this year s harvest and mainly to Melina for handling the household chores in a house with 8, on average, hungry people.

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as the harvest was short, so is this post, because not much else happened in the last few weeks. Among the plenty of people that were around this period there were quite a few weird characters and two kittens that received more cuddles than the olives we picked… so enjoy the photos that follow until the next post 🙂

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the summer of the wall

a yes… the blog, the virtual world of paliomylos, i d forgotten. too many exciting things happening in the real world this summer, many good people around, so this special edition is very late, but full of content !

the biggest news since loop was born is the climbing wall which is finally a great reality 🙂 actually it was just a small part really of a much bigger project to redesign the whole back of the house. So after filling up the ditch that you saw last month, a small dry wall was made to support the soil at the base of the canal, the old plaster from the back wall of the house was removed, the joints cleaned, the huge holes that posed a structural danger rebuilt with cement and stones, the re-pointing of the joints with lime and the placement of flat stones to make a nice passage from the workshop to the nursery area.

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in the middle of this work when we finished the left part of the wall, we mounted the bouldering board and paliomylos will never be the same again :-p special thanks again to my friend Thanassis for the metal work and Nikos my climber friend for the advice but also for borrowing us all his moonboard (and more) holds !

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Next year, when I m sure a good team is here for the whole project, we ll continue uncovering the stone wall from the rest of the house and repointing with a more beautiful an breathable than cement, lime mix. For now many thanks to all that helped and they were many !

Also next spring/summer we ll continue with the beautification(!!) of the little gray house. A small preview of the future in the last photo 🙂
thanks again to all and especially Vangelis for coming with his lovely family and showing us how to built the lime based mural.

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OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

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In the garden all is good finally after the bad start with the mice.

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the harvest is good and plenty are the sauces and dried veggies!

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the onion harvest was not as expected but good enough

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maro started laying eggs again and soon her daughters will do the same

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with all these good ingredients our great chefs had a party this summer again 🙂

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even though last in the post, the best thing that in general happens here in paliomylos, is when good friends come back. That makes all the hard work worth a while. so thanks for the great moments good people and keep on coming back 🙂

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A palace on wheels

Fourth summer starting in the mill and things are moving faster than ever, but also failures/problems keep the feet on the ground, a good thing.
So the low points.. bad garlic harvest, due to little winter/spring rain but also mice that seem not to mind the spice.

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Mice this year are turning out to be a real menace for our efforts… after eating much of freshly planted seedlings, both in the food forest and garden, they now ravish the unripe tomatoes !!! Turns out a mild winter helps them grow in huge numbers… We tried some home made non-chem bait, based on flour, but I m not sure we are getting anywhere with that..

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having said that, the garden is resilient and gives already a lot of food, mainly cucumbers at the moment as it s still early for the rest. Earlier in the month we finished the last plantings and now it s all about the harvest and preservation.

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So now for the big news ! A big step forward that was taken last month was getting our first chicken. Maro and her 8 pitsonia (local dialect for chicks) became part of the family in late May. First they stayed a few days in the workshop,

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then moved in temporarily in a favela coop next to Loop s place

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and finally after 10 days of creative ideas and good handy work

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Maro and the babies got their palace on wheels, with royal courts for their daytime entertainment.

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At the same time but not finished yet there s another big project going on, reshaping the back of the house to provide support to the canal, make a passage from nurseries to workshop, but also… make landing space for a climbing wall to be mounted on the wall of the house. More on this next month!

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we made a new herb garden,

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baked enough dry bread for the rest of the summer

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added another good set of logs for further building

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and build a new improved and good to last this time ping pong table!

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Until next month, a couple of sites we don’t get to see that often like an aloe vera flower and ginger and curcuma plants !

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dry landscape… but wait… the sea !!!

the signs of the hot and rain-less winter are showing, even more after no rain for 40 days…. (25 march-5 may). garlic and onions are again not going to be enough, since the attempt to install irrigation was too late…
also it is the first time ever we start the olive grove irrigation from the start of April, almost two months before the usual date !! so yes, things are not so green in the house… irrigating every day, and fearing serious water issues later on this summer.
Apart from this sad note that is affecting all gardening and farming, things are good in the house which again is full of great people that do what they can to help in all fronts.

Gardening is full on at this moment with late nurseries, frames for climbing plants and transplanting and planting every week in the garden which already has small green tomatoes and peppers :-).

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A very nice surprise this year have been the artichokes that have provided quite a few meals already

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the harvesting season for fruits and herbs is upon us and we have started with loquats, kritamo, capers, chamomile and saint john s wort

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in the food forest we have been building up the fence by planting some 100+ agave plants and in between some aloe vera too

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The biggest news of the last 2 months !!! the terrace with the sea view (aka mojito terrace) is done!!! well at least for this year as next year we might have a small extension. Thanks to all that helped with this heavy and long project !

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from this moment most of the photos of the last section are going to be taken from this terrace which has the best view in the farm ! till next month make sure you dance for some rain !

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