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Our Year 2021

Posting a year-end review end of January already says a lot about how we started into 2022 – but that’s for a summary post in 11 months 😉

2021 – full of surprises

Roof renovations

Our 2020 ended with roof renovations (for our office/guesthouse) and 2021 started with roof renovations (for an old stone house purchased by a close family member from Germany, i.e. us overlooking the project on the ground).

I always find it amazing that every time we start such a project I can simply not believe that all that chaos & trash will soon be forgotten. I know it. But always have a hard time believing. It’s like magic to me!

Mushrooms & veggies

We’ve also started a new indoor project: growing our own mushrooms! This is a hobby that I would highly recommend to anyone serious about nutritional food, looking for getting inspired by nature or by strengthening the interest for mushrooms in kids (see also our post 5 Ideas for (re-)connecting kids with food – even in the city). Start with a prepared mushroom substrate to make it ridiculously easy!

Our winter months continued the ‘2020 year’s weather is an extreme outlier’ trend. After a brutal, unusually dry autumn, winter continued with little precipitation. It also started very mild and end of winter as well of spring we got hit by an extremely late frost. Great fun for the kids, additional cozy woodstove evenings, but not so much fun for almond and olive trees.

Our biggest WOW

Then, the biggest surprise, WOW, and “Pinch me, I can not believe this”: Our first year bottled extra virgin olive oil got 4 (yes, 4!) international awards. Gold in New York, London, and Berlin, Silver in Tokyo. These rewards are actually the result of tastings and rankings for hundreds of experienced olive oil sommeliers – not just a marketing gimmick one can ‘purchase’. We were (and actually are still) blown away. Being an outsider, doing things differently (regeneratively), and then having such success in the first year of production really proves that you can achieve anything if you are passionate about it!

It also means a lot of packaging work – every package is prepared with lots of love.

Summer time

Summer, naturally is a time for seeing friends and spending long hours at the beach as well as a lot of fieldwork. Here are some highlights:

Fieldwork consisted of water pipe installations (all organized and executed by Michail – I am beyond thankful for that!), including leakages… Spraying the trees with Kaolin clay for protection and watering, watering, watering (again, Thanks to Michail, especially when our water slot was in the middle of the night!).

Harvest & other autmn fun

The amazing progress of the ground covers in our groves got featured by Renature! So proud and happy 🙂

We’ve had a tiny harvest but a beautiful time in and below the trees.

And just when we were hoping for ‘a bit of rain’ this season after so many dry months, the rainy season started indeed. And did not stop. Really, for weeks. We were torn between utmost gratitude and a bit of disappointment because usually, October is our favourite month for family time after work at the beach…

Cozy Winter

The photos say it all…. But worth mentioning: we took on a new restoration project: next to our driveway is a historical stone wall from the neighbouring church. To save it from falling apart, we decided to get it restored. It’ still in progress, but I will add a dedicated post when it’s finished.

What a packed year! And we are already on our way to the next adventures 😉


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