We would like to grab this opportunity to give you an image of the region Gera, the land of our olive oil. For over 600 years our trees have been growing on this soil, breathing the strong northern and southern winds that strike the area all year round.
We went around and took some pictures of the surrounding scenery, because few words are able to honestly describe what one can see on an afternoon summer stroll around the dusty dirt roads. The olives are picked from farms surrounding this region, and we had to jump a few fences in order to take some good shots.
It is not always that straightforward for us to collect the olives, as some trees are rooted low on the cliffs, barely above sea level. The land abounds with big and small wild animals, and so we need to be extra careful while crossing the tall, yellow, sun-burnt lawns. We strongly avoid the use of chemicals in our fields and thus they are an ideal home for snakes, mice, lizards, frogs, rabbits, foxes and many other forest animals. Sadly, this is not common practice for many of the farming fields in the region.
The house shown in the picture above is what used to serve as a temporary shelter and home for the olive pickers and their families during the olive picking season in the old days. Since most of the owners of the land used to live in the nearby villages and commuting was slow at that time, families would temporarily move to those houses and establish themselves there throughout the season (usually anywhere from September till Easter time, depending on the number of trees and the number of people working in the fields).
Moreover, up to half a decade ago, this area was highly populated by locals who used to live here all-year-round. Taverns, shops and homes formed small communities, the dying identity of which can still be found in the remains of those homes, the "Ntamia" (Ντάμι - Ντάμια (pl.), in Greek). An effort to count, map and preserve those homes is made by few locals.
The olive tree and the reflection of an original wooden fishing boat. Where no harbors are available, the beach is a common anchorage for the fishermen that live on or near it. We climbed down and strolled on the beach. Feet in the sand and eyes on the ground, looking for anything interesting that could be washed ashore by the sea. While walking towards the motorbike I disturbed the calm water with 6-7 olives I had picked from the trees, trying to aim for the boat.
We jumped on the motorcycle and drove home, passing through the dirt-roads and the olive tree fields.
[Photos shown above are taken by Vasiliki Souvatzi. You can find her work on Instagram @Vasiliki_Souvatzi_Photography.]