RETURN TO THE WALNUT TREE
Just before Rees and I return to The Walnut Tree villa and garden ……. what’s the most-asked question? It’s got to be: ‘What do you do when you are in Greece?’ And of course we always hear: ‘Have a lovely holiday!’ Hmmmmmmm! Don’t get me wrong! Our time in Greece is one long holiday … but it is a working holiday! But we do sometimes jokingly call our time there: ‘The Boot Camp’.
What we do at the villa is dependent on the time of year.
Springtime is principally concerned with preparation for the summer guests. There are renovations and improvements to be done and getting the garden tidy.
Autumn is all about the garden – the ‘season of mellow fruitfulness’ – and boy, is it fruitful. We get busy making sure we use as much of the produce as we can. The main autumn fruits are quinces, late grapes and of course our olives – both the eating variety and the oil olives. The eating olives can be ready to pick in October. Oil olives are best left until November through to January.
We also have some citrus fruits to pick, late figs, myrtle berries and horta which is now plentiful in our garden. As soon as the rains come, one can pick enough wild plants to make a salad or green vegetable most evenings. Then there are the herbs to pick and dry. We also try and prune most of the trees in preparation for the coming winter weather which can be pretty harsh.
Let’s be honest though; spring and autumn are always times for welcoming family and friends to enjoy the villa and garden. It’s about making time to sea swim (so warm in the autumn), explore the wonderful wild places of Kefalonia, enjoy ‘eating in’ and food shopping; ‘eating out’ is an equal pleasure (without the shopping). Each season we find a new or as yet untried taverna or restaurant to sample. One thing we are not in Kefalonia is …. b o r e d!