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



terrace1 terrace2

to this

terrace3 terrace4

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.

garden2 garden3 garden4

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 🙂

field3 field1field2

apart from these main activities, there was some household works

house1 house2

some tree and bushes planting


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)


food2 food1

see you next month

yin yang



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.

dscf2375 dscf2369 dscf2376 dscf2372 dscf2421 dscf2426 dscf2428 dscf2430

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 🙂

dscf2402 dscf2382 dscf2405 dscf2406 dscf2387 dscf2411 dscf2419 dscf2364 dscf2366 dscf2378 dscf2379

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.

wall0 wall4_5 wall7 wall7_1 wall11 wall12 wall12_1

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 !

wall13 wall14 wall15 wall16 wall17 wall18 wall19 wall20 wall21 wall22 wall23

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.

mural0 mural1 mural2 mural3


mural9 mural20

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

garden18 garden10 garden7 garden6 garden1 garden0

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

food2 food1 food0

the onion harvest was not as expected but good enough

onion1 onion2 onion3 onion4

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

egg1 egg2

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

cooking1 cooking2 cooking3 cooking4 cooking5

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 🙂

var7 var8 var8_1 var8_2 var9 var9_1 var10 var11 var15 var25 var30 var99 var100

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.

garlic2 garlic1

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..


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.

garden0 garden1 garden2 garden3 garden4

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,


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


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

maro2 maro3 maro4c

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

maro5 maro6 maro7 maro8 maro9 maro10 maro11

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!

boulder1 boulder2 boulder3

we made a new herb garden,


baked enough dry bread for the rest of the summer

bake0 bake1 bake2

added another good set of logs for further building


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


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 !

var1 var2s var3a var5 var7

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 :-).

garden2 garden4 garden5 garden6 garden7 garden8 garden9 garden10

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


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

harvest1 harvest2

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

fence1 fence2

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 !

mt1 mt2 mt3 mt4 mt7 mt8 mt9 mt10

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 !

var0 var4 var2 var3 var7

doctor gardener and mister mason

march was much colder than february and thankfully much more wet too. Now spring is really upon us and the majority of the work involves gardening, but not only ! there is a small surprise which hopefully will be ready for the relaxing months of the summer.

a day or two after the last post we completed the strawberry hill project, by planting 60 of them on the newly created mini-swales
strawb0 strawb1 strawb2

tree work kept us busy well in March too this year. Using our very own humanure for fertilizing (plus some help from the goats),

light pruning for the apple trees and heavy mulching in general
trees1 trees2 trees3 trees4

The garden is now the main activity in a daily basis. After having a second hit in the nurseries, thus losing all the february seedlings this time from mice eating the seeds, I decided to fence the cold-frame with a very fine inox mesh, and finally got on with the seedlings for this summer s garden
garden0 garden1
After deserting the garden for around 6 months we found this jungle
garden2 garden3
and after a couple of days of weeding, fertilizing and mulching it started again looking like a garden
garden5 garden6 garden6_1 garden7
and finally managing to plant the first seedlings early, even though the slug and mice incidents, thanks to the good weather.
garden8 garden9

and now, a project many paliomylos visitors have been dreaming about, after a long hard day of work … the mojito terrace is finally on it s way !

started by cleaning the canal
leveling the first terrace
mojito2 mojito3
and preparing the space for the flat stones of the floor, soon to come ! mojito4

It ll take at least another month to have the first comfortable space for relaxing at the end of the day, but it has already started taking good form 😉

and that s all for this month, till next time some more photos (a good camera really makes a difference, thanks mariana for the artistic shots)
var0 var1 var2 var3 var4 var5 var6 var7

anybody seen the winter ? we lost him… again…

yes, the early summer got me all dazed and I forgot to put up a post last month ! everything is flowering, not only the almonds


this is the first time in my life I see a February like that…  I m showering outdoors everyday, no fire in the night is needed… and as I said all the trees if not flowering they are all budding at least… on one hand is nice to see the spring already but on the other hand.. some cold is necessary for the plants, let s just hope we get a lot of rain in spring cause otherwise we ll need some desert permaculture experts coming here soon…

anyhoo, this “winter” finds paliomylos very quite. I spent a month alone here, for the first time a long period, but unlike what I was expecting it was a really beautiful period and experience. I got to feel in tune with the place and find my own good rhythm.

so the biggest project of the last two months was the retention wall and terracing of the hill behind the canal. Terracing was a bad idea as we were losing really good topsoil by digging down for the cut and at the same time it would have been a major intervention to the previous landscape, so after the first terrace I changed the plan to making on-contour swales instead.

The wall was one of the toughest projects so far in paliomylos especially as the majority was carried out by Bastien and myself only,

DSC_1561 DSC_1563DSCF1747 DSCF1749 DSCF1754 DSC_1564 DSC_1565

and then by myself alone with the cats n loop supervising the project.

DSC_1556 DSC_1611 DSC_1606 DSC_1594

the end result is really good as the 200+ tires are solid.. 120 to 250 kilos each I hope they ll keep the soil and the canal from eroding for the next 50 years at least ! then the swales are already planted with a few hazelnuts, raspberries and lupins, mulched and with drip irrigation and we are waiting this week to transform this place to a strawberry hill with some 50+ new plants.

DSCF1782 DSCF1787 DSCF1796 DSCF1790 DSCF1793

in rest days there was a lot  of planting happening ! yes, around 40 new trees and bushes have been planted in the food forest. The irrigation was redesigned and improved based on mistakes of the past, trying to prevent the little ones from drying out this very hot summer ahead. On the same note loads of cuttings (mainly vine) and root shouts were taken, some potted, some in the ground, making a nice collection for next year ‘s plantings.

DSCF1778 DSC_1591DSCF1770 DSCF1769

the early summer nurseries were devastated by hungry little slimy visitors of the cold-frame. The slugs ate all tomato seedlings that were planted early in February and many of the cucumber ones.. so I got them drunk with some beer and I hope next patch will not be affected !

DSC_1603 DSC_1604

some more smaller tasks of the last two months…

the solar powered light took the compost toilet on another level !

DSCF1773 DSCF1775

getting amazing building logs from two dead cypresses (for the next mezzanine..)

DSC_1579 DSC_1580 DSC_1581

enough for this long long post with no people and too many plants and animals. till next time !

DSC_1551 DSC_1567DSCF1799

the cider was fantastic… next year more !

DSCF1732 DSC_1602DSCF1746 DSC_1575DSC_1584 DSC_1598