Thursday, January 22, 2015

Greek is hard


We are writing from the farm in Korinthos. This is the first Wwoofing stop of a few on our trip. In case you do not know WWOOF stands for Willing Workers On Organic Farms. This means we exchange working on the farm for housing and food. We have been very lucky to find ourselves on this particular farm. This is a family farm that has been in existence for 150 years. sometimes you flip over the dirt and find a piece of history. They grow many vegetables here, broccoli, cabbage, leaks, lettuce, carrots, spring onions, various herbs ect. The cool thing is that it is warm enough to grow all year around. This does not mean it very warm at night. Luckily we have a heated mattress.

The people here are Kostandis, who runs the farm along with Alexandra, Pavlo, and Elias. We are very fortunate because Elias is a wonderful cook. Every meal is served with feta cheese. This is definitely not your typical grocery store feta. Two other wwoofers are here as well. Josh, he is Brittish and is doing a trip around the world as well, except on a bike! Nooria is from Barcelona. She is here visiting Pavlo after they met when she was wwoofing here before. She was working in social work in spain but due to the poor economic cant get enough funding to continue her job. This is unfortunately how a lot of people end up on the farm.

We are learning a lot about Organic principals and the benefits of eating this way. They grow everything organically. The only fertilizer used is chicken poop and all the weeding, planting, and harvesting is done by hand. This is a huge farm so all of these things come with a lot of work. It's very cool to eat food the way that God intended for it to be, straight from the earth.  We hope to be able to learn more about these principals and take them back with us as we learn to live a more sustainable life.

We eat a lot of vegetables. It is amazing what you can cook up using the same ingredients over and over. There is also a lot of trading between farmers here as well. Our chicken we get from exchange as well as almonds, currents, tahini, and eggs. The farm used to be all fruit trees so there are lemons, olives, mandarins, and oranges. We quite enjoy walking into the back yard and eating an orange right off the tree.

There are 15 dogs and 7 cats on the property. We enjoy playing with the four puppies and want very bad to take one with us. The dogs were all strays that the family finds in town and take home to the farm. They are very dirty but we love them.

Being gone from Spain we have realized a few things. The biggest of these is that we were spoiled rotten living in Ryan and Tracys's apartment. It was warm, clean, and had hot water. In case we didn't say it enough, thanks guys!

Thanks everyone for your well wishes and prayers. We will try and write again soon.
We call this one booger
 We call this one Gimpy
 Cleaning out the pool thing

Monday, January 12, 2015

Hasta Luego Madrid

In Madrid time is different. The sun rises at 9am and you get up around 10...ish. Most time here is attached to an ish... We make coffee and have an easy slow start. If we are lucky we are out of the house by noon. This is much different than the mountain life we are used to but was an easy adjustment. After a morning exploring the neighborhoods we have a big lunch, lunch is the big meal here. Even lunch breaks are longer. After lunch is Siesta time. Don't be like me and use this time to wander the streets looking for a cappuccino because a lot of the businesses close down at this time. Its a good practice in my opinion.

Dinner hour isn't until 9 or 10. Let me tell you, dinner is cool, but tapas are cooler. The way it works is if you buy a drink, you get a tapa for free. Generally its something small like potato chips, olives, or nuts. If your a little hungry, you pay a little. If you are more hungry, you pay a little more. You spend the evening feasting on pinchos (little toasts topped with various goodies) and raciones (a larger appetizer for all to share like chorizo or cheese). In Spain it is easy to experience local culture without breaking the bank. 

The food is delicious.  They have perfecting the simple things, cheese, olive oil, bread and jamón... JAMÓN! my goodness. It's everywhere. Every self respected restaurant has pig legs hanging from the  ceiling. It's cut thin and delicious with queso manchego. This is not your American honey baked ham, it's like prosciutto on crack, the epitome of pork products. They say a Spanish boy is not a man until he can properly carve a ham. 

We will miss you Jamón... oh and Spain to.... and Ryan and Tracy....

Now we are off to the farm in Greece.

Hasta Luego Madrid, Kalimera Corinth

Toledo, Spain.

Toledo, Spain

Sintra, Portugal

Sintra, Portugal

Moorish Castle Sintra, Portugal

ME giving Jake a shave at the second oldest barbershop in the world.

The motley crew in Porto, Portugal.