Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Gardening in Cyprus

Last year we visited with some dear relatives in Minnesota. They were telling us about their severe drought - they hadn't had rain for a whole month! The crops were failing, farmers were worried.

 We live year round in Cyprus. I had to chuckle about this Minnesota drought, because we don't get rain here from about April to the end of September in a good year. This year (2008) it didn't rain from the end of February until October, Now that's a drought.

This garden picture you see above is from the year 2007. We live in the mountains and the area is an agricultural area. Mostly grapes and olives are grown here, but there are some farmers down the road that keep the local grocery store supplied with fresh produce. It is not organically grown, unfortunately. We have made every effort in our community garden to keep it organic. We wonder when the rain washes the soil from the mountain above us into our garden how organic it really is.

This year I don't have a picture of our garden. We planted it early, but the weather stayed cool and nothing was growing. Then the rain stopped, and we had no well. All there was for water was a foul spring that was filled with frogs and their pee. So we used that until it ran out. We had a week between the time when the frog pee water ran out and the well got dug, and that's all it took to wipe us out. The tomatoes fried, the cucumbers turned white, the corn died at 2 feet tall. But I have to report that the eggplant, the bell peppers, the onions and zucchini all made it. We had a bumper crop of those!

All this to say that water is a precious resource. Here in the Mediterranean it is a critical resource, and one that we must conserve. I am learning to use less water to wash dishes, to save water in the bottom of drinking glasses to pour on my house plants, and to not wash my car although it looks so dusty.

I will never take water for granted again.

Gardening in Cyprus,

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