SKopelos

By Sofia, Nov 17 2017 07:31PM

Ripe times on Skopelos


A regular guest reminded me that it has been some time since the last blog entry. Much has happened since…


There was the prune harvest, this year a bumper crop, as was the citrus fruit harvest, with only lemons in any sort of shortage.


Right now we are in the middle of our olive harvest. Usually this is a biannual event, but awkward weather in the last two years threw the sequence out of balance and we are now in the fifth year since the last crop.


Finally however, we are now harvesting an unblemished bumper crop, which is being pressed in a huge new olive oil press halfway between Stafylos and Agnondas on the West of the island.


Not having an olive grove of my own, I gave a helping hand for couple of days to Virgil and Athina from the Livadiotisa monastery. Olive harvesting is an intens, busy and physcial activity. It is something I've enjoyed getting involved to help friends.



Me, harvesting across the Bay from Skopelos Old Town
Me, harvesting across the Bay from Skopelos Old Town
Friends Virgil and Athina at work
Friends Virgil and Athina at work
A ripe crop
A ripe crop

By Sofia, Oct 17 2017 08:37PM

In addition to the beautiful coastline of Skopelos, the interior of the island is laced with pedestrian thruways.


In the past, before motorised transport, these were the means for the islanders to visit neighbours, churches, springs and in general to commute across the island.


Over the years, a mixture of disuse and weather conditions mean that nature has often taken back what is hers.


Organised and led by my friend Heather, visiting WORKAWAY volunteers reinstate the original paths, which are sometimes nothing more than a vague recollection in the memory of the older generation.


Heather's walking guide 'Skopelos Trails' records the regained paths and gives a direction of paths and kalderimis for walkers - from Skopleos and elsewhere - to enjoy the island from a different perspective.


39 Steps guests enjoying some of the interior paths
39 Steps guests enjoying some of the interior paths
More walking on paths of the interior
More walking on paths of the interior
WORKAWAY volunteers come for a meal at 39 Steps (Heather dressed in white)
WORKAWAY volunteers come for a meal at 39 Steps (Heather dressed in white)

By Sofia, Oct 7 2017 06:23PM

The windy weather called for the early morning departure of the Flying CAT4 from Agnondas, our emergency port on the more sheltered west of the island.


About 300 reluctant-to-leave summer visitors, whose holiday has ended, left on the CAT to resume their customary daily lives imbued with their memories of their stay on our island.


Back in town I came upon scenes easily recognised this time of the year.


The familiar green van which delivers supplies of winter food of pulses and similar direct from the growers in the north of Greece was doing lively business with the islanders.


Across from the van, other community members scrutinised the haul of a fisherman who braved the weather and came back to sell his catch direct from his boat.


All mark the beginning of the coming winter.


Winter pulses direct from producers
Winter pulses direct from producers
Contemplating the daily catch on the harbourside
Contemplating the daily catch on the harbourside

By Sofia, Sep 29 2017 08:23PM

Many late in the season visitors observe that on Skopelos a subtle, but nevertheless pervasive bouquet of aroma permeates the air. After the hot summer, the soothing fragrance of pine blends with the strong tang of herbs and the ever so delicate scent of the islands autumn flowers.


Natural aromatherapy!


See more specimens of autumn flowers on Sue Warren's blog:


Cyclamen: bunnies out of a warren
Cyclamen: bunnies out of a warren
Fennel blooms: milky way on earth
Fennel blooms: milky way on earth
Purple heather covers the entire eastern side of the island
Purple heather covers the entire eastern side of the island
Queen of the thistle: wards off predators with sharp thorns
Queen of the thistle: wards off predators with sharp thorns
Tall quills all over the rocky slopes
Tall quills all over the rocky slopes

By Sofia, Sep 24 2017 06:30PM

Yes! The new metal gate made from foraged materials is finally installed in the restored stone archway at the Livadiotisa monastery.


Some design adjustments had to be made and the gate was re-sized to fit its new space; minor design modifications accentuate the significance of the site. Although I led the project, I couldn't have done it without all the people, both Greeks and other nationals, who contributed to its success. This includes the many individuals and businesses who donated when participating in walks and using herbs and similar.


Special credit goes to Vicky from the builders yard, who kept account of the donations, Babis for scaling my rough drawing into the computer, Helen for her patience to details of the scaled drawing, and Vangelis for preparing the base of the archway.


Finally, and importantly, thanks to our skilled smithy, Andonis, who overcame the inevitable snags of remaking a gate in size and style to fit its new position and purpose.


Quite a team effort!



Foraged gate found as new...
Foraged gate found as new...
The gate before modification
The gate before modification
Fitting the modified gate
Fitting the modified gate
Adjustments made, Andonis fits the gate
Adjustments made, Andonis fits the gate
Checking the gate opening
Checking the gate opening
Beautifully subtle in its new position
Beautifully subtle in its new position
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I'm Sofia, 39 Steps' owner and host. This is an occasional blog to keep in touch with my regular guests, give a taste of Skopeliti life and share my experiences of foraging through the summer season

 

Sofia

 

Sofia's 39 Steps Forage Blog

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