Introducing myself

Forums Living in Greece Meet & Greet Introducing myself

This topic contains 15 replies, has 5 voices, and was last updated by  altohb 3 years ago.

  • Author
    Posts
  • #158752

    altohb
    Participant
    Hoplite

    Just saying hi from Crete. We’ve been living here nearly 8 years.

  • #195864

    kiwi
    Participant
    Aristotelic

    Welcome. Such a long time in Greece good to see some Cretans on this forum, I know they lurk elsewhere :))

    In the old days of the forum it used to be bubbling, now members sweep in and out without a whisper.
    Maybe you can change all that and become a regular reb_bravo often I feel like the Lone Ranger without Tonto in here.

    So tell us where you hang out and some tempting tidbits. I sort of am thinking on doing Crete this summer with the grand bub when I get my act together.

  • #195865

    Ian
    Participant
    Homeric

    Welcome Altohb.

    Kiwi, you know I’m just being silent hoping to appear to be a wise person… :roll:

    (In my case it is probably wise to keep my trap shut! šŸ˜ )

  • #195866

    kiwi
    Participant
    Aristotelic

    Ok Ian…you can be Tonto šŸ˜€

  • #195867

    Shazzie
    Participant
    Oracle

    Hi and welcome.

    Really good to have someone new join in.

  • #195868

    altohb
    Participant
    Hoplite

    Thanks for the welcome. We are at the eastern end of Crete; we’re “young” retirees who came in search of peace & quiet. Despite the economic crisis and everything that has gone with it, this is still a beautiful place to live.

  • #195869

    kiwi
    Participant
    Aristotelic

    Yes it is a wonderful place and I think Crete is rather extra special too. Do you live in a remote place or a lively one?

    Young retirees. (They’re rich) :))

  • #195870

    altohb
    Participant
    Hoplite

    @kiwi wrote:

    Yes it is a wonderful place and I think Crete is rather extra special too. Do you live in a remote place or a lively one?

    Young retirees. (They’re rich) :))

    …not remotely!

    We live in a remote area, though – nearest neighbour is about half a mile away. Surrounded by olive trees and with a view of the mountains in one direction and the sea in the other.

  • #195858

    kiwi
    Participant
    Aristotelic

    Sounds divine. Do you harvest the olives for oil?

  • #195859

    altohb
    Participant
    Hoplite

    @kiwi wrote:

    Sounds divine. Do you harvest the olives for oil?

    Yes, the original plan was for them to be a paying hobby, Nowadays they are somewhat more important! The last couple of years have been a total wipeout for us and many other people round here, so everyone is hoping for a good harvest this year. With just the two of us doing it it takes a while (about 6 weeks the last time we had a good harvest), but its a good way to lose weight!

  • #195860

    Alien
    Participant
    Oracle

    Welcome, a total wipeout? Hope you can still enjoy the peace and quiet.

    Olivepicking is only once a year, enough time to relax šŸ˜€

  • #195857

    altohb
    Participant
    Hoplite

    @Alien wrote:

    Welcome, a total wipeout? Hope you can still enjoy the peace and quiet.

    Olivepicking is only once a year, enough time to relax šŸ˜€

    The picking may only be once a year, but there is a lot to do the rest of the time (though not at the moment – too hot). We farm organically, which is more labour intensive anyway, and don’t do anything like as much as we should, but when we get a good crop the results are more than worth it. We sell the bulk of it to the press, but keep plenty for ourselves; being able to have unlimited olive oil is a real treat. I’ve always used quite a lot, but when we were in the UK had to be reasonably sensible because of the cost, but no longer! We were told by our organic inspector that the average Greek family goes through about 200 litres a year – he thought we were really miserly only using about 50-60l!

  • #195862

    kiwi
    Participant
    Aristotelic

    You realise that you are going through five litres of olive oil a month then…hardly an amount to be sneezed
    at. reb_bravo

    I thought all olive trees were sort of organic since they just sit there and grow and ripen away as they have done for thousands of years. What an idyllic life. One most can only dream of. If you manage to be totally self sufficient, kudos to you.

    How many trees do you have?

  • #195863

    altohb
    Participant
    Hoplite

    Kiwi, you are essentially right about olive trees – they will carry on by themselves, but if you want a decent crop you have to prune the trees, fertilise them (either with chemicals or “allowed” organic material), spray or otherwise deal with pests, water them and generally maintain them, like any other fruit tree. We have around 430, only half of which produce anything significant in any one year (if we are lucky).

    We are certainly self sufficient in olive oil, though not otherwise. I grow veggies, but not in huge quantities, as the soil here is terrible – though gradually improving as I’ve worked on it. I admire people who can grow almost all they need; many local people round here do so, and it has helped to mitigate the effects of the crisis. I grow veg partly for the same reason, and partly because I prefer to know that at least some of what I’m eating hasn’t had who knows what sprayed onto it. It would be great to be able to produce all we need, but I haven’t the energy, especially in this weather, and some of the things we like just won’t grow successfully here. I’m up to my ears in courgettes at the moment, and the broad beans were good. French beans & peas were minimal. I’ve just harvested a couple of kilos of brussels sprouts, with more to come – they go straight in the freezer for winter meals.

    We know/have known other Brits who tried the total self sufficiency thing – olives, veggies, chickens & goats, but they all gave up and went back to the UK. I think if you imagine that doing a version of “The Good Life” in the sunshine would be a good idea then you should think very, very hard before embarking on it!

  • #195856

    kiwi
    Participant
    Aristotelic

    Wow, you are to be admired. I am certain that a lot of people reading will relate to ‘The Good Life’ dream. Even I have it, though I think one must start young and not at granny stage :))

    Interesting what you say about veggies. We have friends on the island of Ios who grow nearly all their verges etc. He told me the trick to growing in such arid places is to train the plants not to want so much water. What he did, for economy was he would only have the hose at a drip, and he would put it in each spot for a while and then move it to the next spot. He used to collect animal poo and dig that in as well. I remember what did really well were those very long skinny beans. He grew most things, none of which looked like shop bought, mostly a bit knarled etc, but, who cares, they tasted fine and saved them lots because veges are expensive on those remoter islands. He got buckets of tomatoes, none were ever very big, but they tasted great, and each year he made wine with the grapes.

    Sounds as if you are becoming a bit tired. It is very demanding especially in summer where plants need watering. Our friend could never travel anywhere because no one could look after the garden.

    Here’s a thought. For people such as yourself it would be great to set up a ‘watering holiday swap homes’ site for others such as yourself who could benefit from a change of scene. It could also be a way of making new friends and swapping ideas. I have often mentioned that GIH should have an official house swap thread on the board because it is different letting a member that you have got to know on a forum into your home rather than a total stranger. Could I also suggest (since we have gone so in depth) that you edit your subject line and add something about growing olives or whatever so that when people do a search they can find your comments which are very useful to the budding good lifers.

    Anyway it’s really nice to read your fresh posts, and when some of the other GIH members get out of the water, they might be pleased to share their garden secrets.

  • #195861

    Alien
    Participant
    Oracle

    Quite a few (Dutch) sites offer holidays of ‘olive picking’. So tourists pay to pick your olives :))

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