Why has National Geographic singled out this vegetable garden in Sifnos?

national geographic

Even National Geographic has singled out this vegetable garden as it is anhydrous and at the same time measures 100 years of progress. Let's take the things from the beginning.

Speaking on the phone with the owner of the Narlis estate, George Narlis, it only took a few minutes for him to convey to Olive Magazine's Despina Lanou the aura of beautiful Sifnos. But mostly, he explained to me how a crop can survive without water.

"The grandfather worked the estate, then it passed to my father, then to me and hopefully later to my children," he said.

As Narlis explained, the main reason why so many visitors go to the estate is the arid crops, as there is already a water problem and it will become even bigger in the future.

Working with nature

Sifnos tomatoes

He described the process to me: “In arid crops, you plant the seeds in the spring and you don't do anything except wait for the summer to come and start harvesting the fruits. You don't water, you don't dig, you don't have weeds.

"In this case, we have terrible flavours, and because I have done research, the good taste of the products has been lost because we put water and fertilisers to gain weight.

"The more kilos we add to production, the more we lose in taste. In fact, since I grow very old seeds, I thought that the DNA of these seeds is ideal for growing without water.

"However, it is not so. Last year I planted new seeds and expected them to wilt in the summer, however I was pleasantly surprised as they were just as productive, gave delicious fruit and had the same shelf life as the older ones."

How it is harvested

“The cultivation in question is based on the fact that each seed , flower, or weed will survive without water until it is harvested to perpetuate the species. If it doesn't make seed, it doesn't die and will find a way to live.

"What we are doing is taking its fruit from the plant, so we don't let it feel that it has borne fruit. So it continues to produce."

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He also told me where we can find his products: “We usually put them in our restaurant, NUS, in Platis Gialos, or we use them for our guests."

"In particular, tourists come to taste food here – for a fee – and I explain the process of dry farming to them, as most of them come from dry areas and are very interested in the process. Some products are left over and locals and tourists take them."

info: Narlis Farm, Apollonia, Sifnos, tel. 6979 778283, site: www.sifnos-farm-narlis.com

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