Tuesday, February 28, 2012

I love acorns?

Now this does sound typical of Snoopy (I love peanuts?) - for those of you have been around for long enough to remember.. Gosh I sound old.. but actually this entry is about less retro than the 1970's comic strip and actually very much happening today..

To get closer to the point, I heard of somebody recently which actually has a true passion and a true plan for reviving a local traditional industry in Greece on the picturesque island of Kea in (naturally in Greece), which is not far from the Athenian mainland. It was only yesterday however that I was invited over to try her famous acorn cookies to learn a lot more about the story 'hands on'!

Baking acorn cookies with kids from the village

Marcie, a dynamic Californian woman who has lived on the island for many years has taken a challenging initiative to revive the agricultural development and the contemporary use of acorns for all sorts of purposes. She recently raised over a whooping $10,000 on the internet alone via kickstarter for this precise passion. The acorn which grows abundantly in Kea, was once a strong sector and a main source of income for the locals. Since the development of tourism and the drastic increase of the value of land however, the locals lost interest completely in this agricultural activity. What is most interesting is the incredible number of uses that acorns can be used for which I never imagined previous to hearing of Marcie's passion and eating her acorn-cookies and home-made wine at the Red Tractor Farm

The interior of one of the cottages on the Red Tractor Farm

As she explained to me acorns offer a pigment for dying leather (shoes, bags etc) which is far superior to any other method of dying and treating leather. Acorns can also derive flour which can be used to cook numerous foods with and these are only just some of the uses.. Marcie has not only raised funds to equip the community with machinery able to harvest them, she has 'cooked up' old acorn recipes and acorn recipes of her own! She also keeps a journal to keep the world up to date with whats new in her project.

Marcie and her husband Kostis (who is Greek and from Kea) own a beautiful farm called 'The Red Tractor Farm on the island which is very much a part of their family history. It is exquisitely serene and hosts numerous visitors from around the world every year offering each visitor a large number of activities and to fully enjoy the true less 'touristy' atmosphere of the island.

Well done Marcie, keep up the excellent work!