"It's the worst olive harvest I've experienced in 40 years," said our local olive oil factory owner this week. I can certainly vouch for the fact that the factory near Polis was eerily quiet yesterday when we went to press our fairly small quantity of olives.
There were no queues to unload the olives into the press and we only managed to pick a paltry 60 kilos of olives versus previous years when we picked over 400 kilos from 10 trees.
No-one is really sure as to why there haven't been many olives on the trees this year, but one theory is that there was a lot of dust in the air during spring when the olive blossoms appeared...and the dust stopped the pollen from flying around. Whatever the reason, the Cyprus olive harvest follows on from shortages in Spain earlier in the year and also Greece which means that olive oil and olives will be far more expensive.
There was one highlight however. The yield from our 60kg of olives was very high as we got 14 litres of freshly pressed extra virgin olive oil. That works out at 1 litre for every 4.2kg of olives, whereas the average is usually around 1 litre for every 6kg. So we have plenty of cheap olive oil to get us through the next year.
How have Cypriots who lost money in the Laiki and Bank of Cyprus haircuts earlier in the year survived? Well, you might say that if you still have 100,000 in the bank, you're probably ok for the moment and while that may be the case, Cypriots haven't just sat back and complained.
On the contrary, many are turning back to the land to raise money ploughing fields that haven't been touched in years when previously they thought they were worth more as development land.
Over the past few months, we've seen just about every field close to us in the Drousia village area being ploughed or laid with irrigation pipes ready for crop planting. Hopefully, that will mean cheaper produce for everyone as more people are growing various crops or planting vines, olives or fruit trees. We just hope we don't now have a dry winter putting a strain on water demands as agriculture uses the lion's share of our water.
If you own a moped or motorbike, you also need to change to the new numberplate which has the European standard of placing the month and year of registration in the middle of the plate. Hire car number plates will still be red, however,, so they can be easily distinguished from other vehicles.
The changes were brought in after pressure from taxi drivers who wanted to eliminate rogue illegal cab drivers, operating without a licence.
That's all from my Cyprus Latest News Nov13.
See you next time.
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