Much of village life is dictated both by religious festivals and the crop cycle. In past times, the population was much higher; people had 10 or more children and everyone helped in their own and their neighbours’ fields. Cotton and sesame used to be grown and silk weaving was common – there are still numerous mulberry trees around the village, which used to feed the silk worms.
During late Spring you will find cereal crops growing in many of the surrounding fields. The wheat is harvested late summer.
Hand mill (in village square)
The hand mill was used for the preparation of a traditional wheat-based dish called Resi. This dish is often served at wedding feasts.
Two or three days before the wedding, the couple’s friends gather at the house of the bride. They wash and grind coarse wheat grain using hand mills while leaving time for music and dancing.
The day before the wedding, they cook and serve the Resi to the guests. Resi is actually a thick velvety mixture of coarse wheat and lamb. The meat is cooked on a low heat for a long time before the wheat is added.
When the mixture is ready, the bones are removed and the mixture it is stirred well until it is quite smooth.
The main activity of the year comes with the ripening of the grape harvest, around the end of August and throughout September. The grapes are picked by hand and loaded onto trucks to be taken to the wineries. There are two in nearby Kathikas, the Vasilikon and Sterna. Some grapes are kept for making palouze and soutchouko. As well as the wine grapes grown in the fields, there are many varieties of dessert grape which also cover people’s pergolas to keep them shady in the heat of the summer, and also an abundance of all kinds of other fruit: oranges and lemons, plums, figs of many kinds, almonds, walnuts, pecans, peaches, nectarines, apples, pears, pomegranates, persimmons etc.
After the grape harvest come the olives which are grown both for the oil and for the local tsakistes.
Carob trees abound in the fields, but although there’s great demand abroad for carob both as a chocolate substitute and for the seeds in exfoliating products, the industry here seems to have diminished and the old carob warehouses are being turned into restaurants. Carob syrup is delicious on ice cream or thick Greek yoghurt. The word Carat in derived from the carob seed which is very uniform in size and weight and was used as a measure for gold.
In the fields not given over to grapes or cereal crops a wide variety of vegetables are grown. Many of the fields are planted round with globe artichokes with their attractive purple heads