Structured Adult Education Staff Courses – Kato Drys Community Council
14th -21st September 2017
Cyprus – Sustainability & Sense of Place
The ancestors of Panayiota, Nikos, Demitri and Evanthia, in their mountain village of Kato Drys in the south eastern spur of the Troodos mountains, were peasant farmers. They grew olives, almonds, carobs, tomatoes, vegetables and were shepherds making yoghurt, halloumi and ‘kleftiko’ (oven roasted mutton). They also used a lot of wild food, berries, mushrooms, greens, even songbirds caught with glue sticks. How to move forward and offer 21st century cultural experiences and learning that are useful and transferable? As a partner in ‘Green Village’ and co-authors of the vocational training course ‘Sustainable Rural Development – Focus on Culture and Nature’, Kato Drys Community Council are doing a pretty good job. This one week dedicated training programme looks at proactive intergenerational learning that takes skills from the past and uses them in a modern and useful context…… and explores true sustainability and unique sense of place.
Arrival to Paphos, transfer (1.2 hrs) to the mountain villages of Pano & Kato Lefkara. Accommodation in village house modifies for rural tourism. Brief discussion of the week ahead.
A short and sharp adobe brick making lesson using local clay, sand, straw and seaweed. After a quick shower, focus on water, how local people used in wisely, visit underground cisterns and aqueducts. Drive through the valley of Kyprovasa, stopping to see olive groves, carobs, pine forests and seeing goats and sheep with their shepherds – focus on products from a rich and diverse landscape – picnic lunch. Afternoon visit to an old sheiling. Evening meal in a local taverna.
Food from landscape – a day’s introduction to bee-keeping and honey production in Vavla. Lunch is strictly local food. After the training, visit the monastery of St Minas and the winery in Kato Drys – seeing not just wine production but use of ancient varieties of grapes and various sweets and deserts from grape products. A light evening meal (the lunch was big!)
A day trip to Nicosia for full cultural experience, including visiting Turkish Cypriots in the north of the island. On the way, in Kornos, we visit the women’s pottery co-operative and pick wild asparagus. In Nicosia we search for enduring symbols of mankind’s relationship with nature, including ‘green men’ and ‘twin tailed mermaids’. Time for shopping & buying local spices, etc. Lunch is on the Turkish Cypriot side.
The day is dedicated to the building of an outdoor oven with adobe bricks – it is dome-shaped and follows the ‘Greek Method’ – the method is transferable. We have a picnic lunch and go foraging for some special wild foods + orchid spotting – Panayiota also runs a ‘jam-making class’. Evening meal at a local taverna, after visiting the beach for a swim.
The day is dedicated to preparing and cooking a stupendous meal in an outdoor oven – local dishes are on the menu and their sustainability credentials are unquestionable. There are breaks in the day to visit the silversmiths and 8th/9th century Byzantine chapels. Of course the day finishes with eating the food we prepared, with our Cypriot teachers as guests.
Departure from Paphos – if time allows we visit the Roman mosaics at Kourion near Limassol.