Huge heads of green broccoli

It is a cool clear day on Symi with only the lightest north westerly wind blowing down the harbour. Gulls are drifting gently past Harani and a fisherman in a small rowing boat is laying bright yellow nets just off NOS. The 'Olympic' is alongside the clock tower, low in the water, and there is only one solitary yacht in the harbour - a fibreglass production boat of about 11 metres overall - belonging to a Turkish charter company.

The photograph was taken on the way to work at 8 o'clock this morning, as the mist was starting to dissipate and before the morning breeze began. The dew falls the moment the sun goes behind the mountain and shady places remain damp all day. Ferns and moss sprout in unlikely places and neatly painted cyclamen leaves poke out from between the rocks and even among the paving stones on the Kali Strata.

Temperatures currently range from 8 and 18 degrees, perfect for growing cool weather crops. Those coriander plants which survived the extreme cold two weeks ago (cloched under bubble wrap for the duration) are still providing bunches of leaves for the kitchen but I don't expect them to last much longer so we are enjoying them while we can. What is left will join the last green chillies and fresh lemongrass in a jar or two of homemade green curry paste. The seed has been gathered from the Italian basil plants in the greenhouse, ready for sowing in the spring.

The vegetable hawkers that come onto the island now have splendid purple beetroot, huge heads of green broccoli, tender leeks and other delicacies that are just coming into season now and the market gardener on the corner in Chorio has an impressive display of Kos lettuces. Summer is the time to enjoy the sweetness of tomatoes and the voluptuous velvet of aubergines - the rainy season brings its own gastronomic pleasures.

Have a good weekend.


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About this Blog

I sailed into Panormitis Bay, Symi, by chance one windy July day in 1993 and have been here ever since. The locals tell me that this is one of the miracles of St Michael of Panormitis. A BA graduate with majors in English, Philosophy and Classical Civilisation, the idea of living in what is to all intents and purposes an archaeological site appeals to me. Not as small as Kastellorizo, not as touristy as Rhodes, Symi is just the right size. I live on a small holding which my husband and I have reclaimed from a ruin of over-grazing and neglect and turned into a small oasis over the course of the past 22 years. I also work part-time for Symi Visitor Accommodation, helping independent travellers discover and enjoy Symi's simple pleasures for themselves.

This page is kindly sponsored by Wendy Wilcox, Symi Visitor Accommodation.

Adriana Shum

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