After The Harvest

this harvest was a landmark… not only for us, but many areas around Greece had the biggest harvest ever, this year. After the olive oil olives, we had a month of “rest”, during which…

we got more chicken, electric fence powered by a solar panel and now the chics are free ranging for the first time. Apart from eating free, they work for us by weeding and fertilizing the garden.

after the chicken had finished their work we moved them and sheet mulched this part of the garden

started Hügelkultur (more on this in the next post) and finally the summer nurseries took off.

In the last week of February the Kalamata olives were ready to be picked as the cold receded and they un-shriveled. We called a team of friends to help out and in two weeks we picked 10 tons of Kalamata finally completing this Odyssey that started on the 4th of September, half a year ago.

a party followed to celebrate and start the After The Harvest era in paliomylos

Now we rest and enjoy the spring, full of flowers as you ll see in the following photos, and therefore the bees allowed us to steal for the first time a bit of honey since they have so much food right now

till next time, enjoy the Spring !

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olive…

olive, olive, olive and another olive…. and then another one and another one, and after that an olive… and yesterday olive and today olive and tomorrow olive.. 80 tons of olive…

5 months picking olives from sunrise to sunset (sometimes with no lunch break)… we (Inti, Jeroen and myself) just see and speak olive now ! and no, no it s not over yet ! in March we continue with the Kalamata olives that have shriveled from the cold now… another 3 weeks of olive to complete this enormous production.

a big thanks to all that helped out this year ! the people is who made this task bearable in the end, so thank you all !

The dutch team arrived in the beginning of October, brought everything we were missing in the house, build their home in a day and never missed an olive

apart from olive… we had a bit more of harvesting,

some planting

and a lot but a lot of cooking…

i leave you with some more non olive moments from these last 5 months, till next time !

var2var3

The bandaloop (deck)

A short but very important post. For the last two months we ve been working on the canal behind the house that used to bring the water to the watermill, 200 years ago.The final part was the work on the upper level.

The landscape of Paliomylos is now very different, a special place, the Bandaloop (deck), has been added to the farm and we had to celebrate this with a big party and good friends and family.

On the side of the building work, we put together a bike powered version of the flour mill.

That s it for this month, next post will come late as for the next 4 months we ll be picking olives, all the best !

a new era

many things happened in the last month and a half, one very sad but many good ones, so it feels like a new stage starts in paliomylos.
Starting with the bad news, Loop is not with us anymore after four years of great moments. He ll always mark the memories of the beginning here in Paliomylos.

Moving on, as nature always does, trees, gardens and cats are doing great and in the house Valentin brought good energy, presents and friends.

So the harvest of early summer apart from the usual garden veggies

this year includes lentils

capers

and an amazing potato yield from just a bed of 8 m2

The usual tomato sauces, pickles and dried preserves are happening on a daily rate as usual for this time of the year

but the new goodies from Belgium, have now transformed the kitchen to a proper homesteading food processing spot

From Belgium also came a special short visit of a scout group. They carried out the big task of a stone staircase by themselves in only 3 days of work, thanks guys !

and last but not least the works on the canal are continuing and we are hoping to have the complete terrace ready for August, lets see ! A serious novelty is the welding machine that Thanasis gave us as a gift. Metal is added to the building artilery after stones, wood, COB and mortars

enjoy the rest of the summer !

spring overload

back to the screen after two months of hard spring work. Water, olives, the garden and the newly arrived bees kept us more than busy.. rather exhausted i d say.

The heaviest but also most important job is the maintenance of the canal that brings the water to our house, the cooperative and the olive grove. Unfortunately this is a chore for most farmers and the turnout in these few days that are needed for the cleaning is very disappointing… more so for the cleaning of the difficult covered parts, that judging from the amount of soil I found there, must have been untouched for years. I still have fingers numb from the 14 hours I spent alone in the tunnels one Saturday, early this May… it s really sad that the self-organisation when it comes to natural resources such as the water in this case, is considered a chore, and for me this is one of the main reasons of the decline of the greek rural areas, everything is expected to be solved by the state, subsidies and heavy machinery…

At least this year we have a lot of rain, water in the river and the trees are happy. This and the cold winter have resulted in trees giving fruit for the first time like the pistachios, apricots, peaches, persimmon, feijoa, raspberries and also the olive trees are finally full of olives !

The garden completely changed in a month, from the broad bean jungle it transformed to the summer veggies jungle.

Last year the chicken, this one the bees ! With the kind donation of two hives from Giannis K and the help of Vaggelis D., both having their bees close by, we started this wonderful adventure and started learning about the magical world of the bees.

We also started with grafting, so far with two successes, on almond and wild pear.

Just before the overload of spring garden work we had started with the extension of the mojito terrace that we started last year. Now finally we find time to continue this exciting project.

enjoy the summer !

kitchen 2.0

Nice sunny days, flowers, bees and.. scorpions

tell us that spring is finally here to stay. Therefore gardening is at full power with many veggies already planted in the garden and many more getting ready in the nurseries.

Major help for gardening and the trees was a 3 day-long rain that finally filled up the river and the springs.

With much better mood now with the sunny days, we decided to update a bit the spaces in and around the house. So we started with a complete makeover in the kitchen including the first construction with 100% our own wood.

Emma has improved a lot the look of paliomylos with her artistic creativity and the bench under the pine tree could not be left out

this year we ll give mushrooms a go again. This time on logs (oak and mulberry) with oyster and shitaki mushrooms

and that s it for now. enjoy the spring !

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.

manure3manure4manure5

and finally business as usual are the spring/summer nurseries

bye for now, enjoy the spring