«my own Ikarian» waterfall comes from Tarascon, France !


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This is a small waterfall in Tarascon, France. The photo was taken by the son of a friend  in Flickr.

I was surprised when I saw this photo. I thought it was from Ikaria. As you can see, there is a stonewall behind the fall. As if this was man-made or there was a cistern or a small lake behind it. If this was in Ikaria, there would usually be a garden below. The water would jump over the terrace and flush down to water the garden.

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I🙂 like to plant potatoes when I am in Ikaria. I have a weakness for «pommes frites». I got it in the country where I was born and raised. I also like the looks of a potato field. They are very neat and orderly and all the good stuff (the potato) lies underneath inside the earth. I do all the hard work and when I leave, my neighbours keep watering the potato garden and then when it’s time they just unearth the potatoes and store them (easy job). We share the crop. They give me a big bagfull when I return in autumn.
The water for my potatoes comes from a cistern very near «the barn».

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It used to fill on its own every 2-3 days in summer but now it is connected with the water network of the village through ugly plastic pipes. Our turn to get water is again every 2-3 days like before, but now with the pipes we get our water from the mountain and we don’t loose the crop even when there is draught and water shortage.

In Ikaria we water our gardens early in the evening. The day when it’s our neighborhood’s turn to get water, I turn on the tap in the morning and the cistern fills slowly until the evening. But one day I forgot myself at the beach and came back home late when there was just enough light to see and to water my potatoes.

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Still in my swimsuit I rushed to the garden, opened the «door» of the cistern and let the flow flush. It was a magical moment (very much like in the poem -1st page, beginning) and an evening of a very warm day. So while my potatoes were being watered I stood under the small waterfall and I was also «being watered» : washed the seasalt off my hair and body.

This happened many time during last June. Since then I’ve been thinking to make it a regular habit. People have gossiped about me running around in my garden all wet in my swimsuit and my legs all muddy, but down deep they don’t mind. On the contrary they🙂 are happy because I «keep the traditions». Gardens in Ikaria is a religion. Anyone who «puts» (as they say) a garden (unless it’s not for:/ hash), no matter what his appearance may be, is a good person on principle.

splashSo I’m going to push this forward. I’m going to improve the site of my private waterfall and turn it into a «shower». What it needs is some flat stones on the floor so that I don’t get all in mud. I’ll also have to plant some flowers around the basin like in sam fin’s photo to improve the privacy of the place. I would have done this already this year, if it wasn’t for this Flickr addiction of mine. At least I didn’t sacrifice my potatoes. There is a limit to the virtual, digital world : 1) my :P stomach. And then the thought of how beautiful and delicious my potatoes will be, is one of the things that keep me going and working and spending a summer in a foreign land.

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(in case you wonder what I’m talking about, oh passers-by, just read once more and more carefully

the main title of my blog,  «This blog is about…»)

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Comments

(8 total)

A Doctor writes: Now I Know why you love Erifi so much – it is the thought of that crazy man who tried to fill the place with potatoes. Potatoes are good for the soul.

Monday June 12, 2006 – 03:10am (BST)

I too have potatoes. But I think the moles are eating them. I do know that when I put the hose down the mole hole next to the potatoes it swallows up any amount of water. There is a whole mole kingdom under those potatoes.

Sam Fin hasn’t seen this yet, but he will be happy that his picture is famous!

Monday June 12, 2006 – 08:04am (CEST)

I have put in a garden every year for about 25, but this season decided to take a break so I could hike and fish more. I have only garlic in, and it will come out next month, oh yes and rhubarb. I’ve eaten pomme frites in Amsterdam, almost lived on the damn things for a couple weeks. Also have grown spuds, as we call them here, but quit because they are so cheap in the market and I needed the garden space for my salsa stuff, onions, peppers and tomatoes. Potatoes, by the way, are native to South America, I think the Maya cultivated them.

Monday June 12, 2006 – 07:49am (PDT)

Πανικός ! Κανείς δεν θέλει να σκάβει τη γη ούτε και για χόμπυ. Όλοι προτιμούν να κάνουν τις πιο άθλιες, άχαρες, ακόμα και παράνομες δουλειές παρά αυτό. Είναι έξω από το lifestyle (βλέπε *οικονομία της αγοράς*) Έτσι όμως που τα γράφεις, ξαναβάζεις τα πράγματα στη θέση τους. Το σκάψιμο δεν είναι *βλαχιά*. Είναι θέμα άποψης και στυλ. Για να μην πούμε ότι το ίδιο νερό χρησιμοποιείται δυο φορές και γίνεται οικονομία.
Το τμήμα Modern Sustainable Lifestyle Studies του USDA χειροκροτά. Όμως έχουμε και μια ερώτηση: τα υπολείματα αντηλιακού στο νερό κάνουν καλό ή όχι στις πατάτες;

To all readers, friends, commentators: the one and only dish my friend Eleni can cook and cook well (& w/o burning the house) : «pommes frites» -patates tiganites !

Monday June 12, 2006 – 08:06pm (EEST)

Nana, please tell me, what is your connection with the USDA – as in U.S. Department of Agriculture?

Monday June 12, 2006 – 10:42am (PDT)

@ are you magic? I have a «blog search» on and just found
http://emanoyhl.blogspot.com/2006/03/more-family.html

This Ikarian/American is talking about (ex-french) fries! + a sandwich supposed to be an Ikarian invention ! What’s going on?

@ the USDA (a honoraty staff member myself due to special services) is a joke and it means «University of the Streets of Down Town Athens». So it would better be called USDTA but never mind. Nana is the *dean* because she 1) is a woman, 2) she beats everybody in «ouzo» drinking, 3) she works harder than everybody else, 4) she gives 1/2 of her salary to the poor people and immigrants downtown outside their shop (there are many).

Monday June 12, 2006 – 10:31pm (EEST)

hOw hAPpY I am that we I can share my *weakness* with you.

Yes, potatoes are good for the soul. I think that most edible things that grow under the surface of the earth are good («ψυχοφελή»). Now they import potatoes from Egypt during the summer. Though the best potatoes (in the world?) grow in the neighbour island, Naxos. Ikaria produces a lot of good olive oil and Naxos the best potatoes, so I guess we could put a big frying pan somewhere midway between islands in the middle of the sea.

Potatoes are good for the soul. Other women I know boil spagheti when they are sad. I fry potatoes. The chssss sound and the smell of oil, apeaces me. *good hydrocarbonates* as Nana would say. Some yoghourt to go with them. It should be *tzatziki* ( «white sauce» as the Ikarian/Americans say; loL) but my tzatziki either looks like cement or it is *white (yoghourt+cucumber+garlic) soup*.

Tip: when you they serve you fries in Greece and you see origan on them, there is something wrong, the potatoes or (more often) the oil. Origano has this ability to cover all faults. Take a bad cook’s word. Origan is very suspicious.

The Mayas: yes, potatoes like heights and I think it is correct that they were first *tamed* in Peru. There’s nothing better than potatoes to save an isolated population from hunger. It has been proved in Ikaria where wheat can’t be cultivated succesfully (is this perhaps the reason why Ikarians though very religious, are not exactly «christian»? tend more to the wine than to the bread? )

I call myself a traveller but I’ve never been outside Europe. When I am in Ikaria sometimes (& in some places) I like to think that I am in Peru or New Zealand. Or Africa ! Hey, *da man doctor*, no doubt it was *da man* Angelos who ‘s tipped you off about Erifi, eah?

Blogs: oh man, there have been some really wild blogs about Ikaria on the net recently.

@ Simon G : go on and spot more «Ikarias» for me in this universe. There are so many and I am delighted to follow you.

απομειναρια αντιηλιακου : ρε Νανα, αφου τηγανιζουμε τις πατατες στο λαδι, τι πειραζει να εχουν πιει λιγο αντιηλιακο πριν τις κοψουμε; Αχ, εσεις οι νεαρες επιστημονισες καμια φορα…

My next entry will be about A BIG WATERFALL. Not to water potatoes this time…

Tuesday June 13, 2006 – 12:35pm (PDT)



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