AGRICULTURE in and around Diafani
from the Diafani A to Z list of the website WELCOME TO DIAFANI (www.diafani.com)
Diafani-Olymbos is an agricultural and sea going community and it is customary that each family be self sufficient for the staples of life.
The main agricultural area is situated in the valley of Avlona which lies between the hill-top village of Olymbos and the seaside village of Diafani.
Most of the local people have some land there where they grow a variety of vegetables and cereals for their family.
There are many paths for walking around this beautiful area of Northern Karpathos.
These paths will take you passed olive groves and more small fields of cereals.
You may see local people threshing their wheat or other cereals in the old stone circles which you can see scattered about the countryside.
These cereals are used in the traditional Karpathian recipes and for the wonderful local home made bread, baked in the outdoor stone ovens you will see in and around the villages of Diafani and Olymbos.
You will see windmills in Diafani and especially in Olymbos but sadly there is now only one working windmill for the grinding of the local cereals into flour.
You will also see stone walled terraces carved into the hillsides for the cultivation of olive trees and various vegetables and in spring time you will see the enormous artichokes which grow here.
In the local gardens you will see many kinds of fruit and nut trees. In the summer and autumn you will smell the lemons, apricots and the distinctive perfume from the fig trees. You will also see the grapes which grow from the vines shading the local courtyards. Around the doors and windows you will see various pots of beautiful green basil plants. This special sweet smelling basil is not used for cooking but is taken to the church for the mass and festivals.
All around the countryside you will see many goats and a few sheep seeking shade under the olive trees or grazing on the wild flowers and the wonderfully scented wild herbs of the hill sides.
These animals provide milk for the local cheeses and meat for the families. Many families also keep chickens and some may have a few pigs.
Donkeys and mules are still used for transporting heavy loads but many of the local men now have small open back trucks.
In late autumn the harvesting of the olives begins.
Another important area for the agriculture of this community is the island of Saria, to the north of Diafani. The local people go to the island in their small “varka” boats (a rowing boat with a small outboard engine) and maybe fish a little on the way. They go to Saria regularly to take care of their olive trees, animals and bee hives.
On the island of Saria as well as around Diafani and Olymbos, you will see many small blue painted hives on the hillsides ; the local men are very proud of the exceptionally pure honey produced by their bees.
The local people produce all of this food for their family in Diafani-Olymbos and even send their produce to family members living in Rhodes or Piraeus.
They do not do this for commerce and therefore do not generally sell any of their produce but many visitors have been pleasantly surprised to receive a gift of a handful of figs or some grapes as they walked passed people working in their fields.
Due to the recent abundance of the pure local honey it is now possible to buy this in the local shops.
Make sure it has the label “Olymbos”.
CLICK TO SEE :
Bread, local baking
Fish and Fishing in Diafani
Saria, nearby island
Walking / Hiking/ Trecking, Paths around Diafani