I am always delighted to hear from my farmingfriends friends so when a letter arrives from David in Cyprus I am always keen to read about life in Cyprus on the Troodoos Mountains, so here is David’s email:
I cannot believe where the days have gone. It is now 1st June and I have not sent you an email for a good 6 weeks so my apologies. The Church was not blown up by the local lads this year over Easter. In fact they were rather subdued and their fireworks were well upstaged by the Tsada Community Council who let off a superb array on Easter saturday evening on top of our local Co-op bank in the village square. This was most fortunate as Aristos tavern is opposite so we had front row seats. Easter Sunday was fun and games in the village square with traditional cypriot dancing, a live band and plenty of wine and beer.
A friend came out about three weeks ago so we had a trip round the wineries to re-stock. We called at Omodos to get some Commanderia which I believe is the oldest “named” wine in the world and then ended with a visit to my friends at Nelion Winery. Neofytos asked when I was to plant my vines as he had them all ready. Well,the sunday before last a group of us went up to my land and planted the lot. Aristos supervised and Kostas did most of the hard work so they are all in the ground at last. Aristos of course had to set fire to some of piles of weeds that I had cleared and I had visions of the Fire Patrol Helicopters coming over with water buckets by thankfully that did not happen. It cost me a lunch for them all in the local taverna but it was well worth it.
Last saturday I went up to check them and water. Most have developed some leaf so I hope to have a high success rate. My quince tree is coming on well as are the two pear trees and one apple tree, but the other apple tree seems to be developing growth from the rootstock which I suspect will need to be stopped. I will have to ask Marina or Maria for advice. My garden centre owner would not sell me the four cherry trees that I was hoping to plant last month as he said they were no good and would die.He will have some more in september ready for me then with also a couple of apricots and I hope to get three olive trees in before too long. All that needs to be done now is to dig out the water sump beneath the maple tree and fill it with water. Aristos has marked the exact spot for me by throwing a stone and saying “dig there” – how I love Cyprus!!
I actually saw a blunt nosed viper sunning itself on the road the other day and as it is getting rather hot now I suspect that we shall see several squashed snakes of varying sorts on the road. I also found a scorpion on my land which has made me think carefully about picking up rocks without prodding them first.Mary a friend in Tsada seems to have a rather large black whip snake in her garden which she does not really mind provided it keeps out of her swimming pool but if it gets too much we will call in Snake George who runs a reptile park nearby. Funny really that I never saw a single adder in UK during my 50 odd years of living there.
Today (2nd June) it is already about 28 degrees at 10 am local time. Last night the temperature did not drop below 18 degrees so it is now getting rather warm and sticky. However we must not complain after all the heat and sun is why most of us came here in the first place.
My fig tree is really looking healthy but sadly I can see no figs developing and suspect that this may be a rest year for it. Georgios my neighbour in the village will I hope let me have some of his later on.
I was fascinated to read about Steve in Thailand with his two guinea fowl and also to learn that these birds originate from Africa. I assume that they would do quite well here in Cyprus particularly in the Troodos and this may be my next project.
Well time for a cup of tea under my vine in the courtyard. I really enjoy keeping up to date with the Farming Friends news and hope that more friends from around the world will join in.
Best wishes to you Sara and all
I think that guinea fowl would be a great addition to the Troodoos mountain livestock. It is interesting to hear about the vines being planted and the snakes that can be seen at this time of year in Cyprus. I am very interested to find out about life in Cyprus so thank you David for such insightful letter that you allow me to share with the farmingfriends readers.