Our precious land...
Our precious land...
Located at the meeting point of three continents, Asia, Europe and Africa, in the middle of the big blue, the island of Crete is renowned for one of the richest flora in the world thriving there because of its particular soil and climate conditions.
It has been estimated that there are 1,828 native plants on the island (whereas respective numbers are approximately 6,500 in Greece and 13,000 in Europe).
This wealth is not only reflected on their number, but also on the fact that many of these plants are endemic, which means that they can be found only in Crete.
In Crete, endemic plants include approximately 189 species and subspecies, i.e. 10% of all types of flora are unique.
The most characteristic types of flora on the island are aromatic herbs, known for their culinary use, their use as herbal teas, including their use as herbal medicine because of the essential oils they contain.
Cretan mountain tea (Sideritis syriaca), Dittany (Origanum dictamnus), Sage (Salvia futicosa), Wild Marjoram (Origanum microphyllum), Thyme (Corridothymus capitatus) are only a few of the herbs that one may come across -and mostly smell- on the island.
Being convinced about Cretan herbs’ nutritional value, we began cultivating these unique plants with great care. Our company made its first appearance in the herbs’ market in 2014, when we planted our first aromatic herbs in our self-owned land. We perform the plant propagation, planting, cultivation, harvesting, drying, packaging and marketing, so as to keep control over every step of the production process.
The famous plateau of Omalos is situated at an altitude of 1,040 to 1,250 metres, surrounded by the high crowns of the White Mountains.
Our property is located at the heart of the plateau near the entrance to Samaria gorge, the longest and one of the most breathtaking gorges in Europe.
Samaria National Park is one of the most well-known and award-winning protected areas in Greece, whereas, among other things, it belongs to the network of Biosphere Reserves, i.e. of areas that have been designated by UNESCO’s program “People & Biosphere”.
A few years ago, the wild plant of “ironwort”, the Cretan mountain tea (Sideritis syriaca), used to grow in the broader area of the plateau (that includes our property).
All we had to do is listen to nature: the summer air of the plateau had to be enriched again with the scent of Cretan mountain tea.
Lakkoi is a small traditional village almost at the centre of Chania prefecture particularly rich in tradition.
Back in 2003, a fire completely destroyed the olive grove on “Kolesa” land.
Eleven years later, the land once burnt down became one of our basic farms.
Around this area, we will come across dittany, sage and oregano growing in the wild.
Once again, our choice was clear: we would grow here one of the most famous aromatic herbs of Crete, Dittany (Origanum dictamnus).
The “roughest” parts of the land would be planted with aromatic Sage plants (Salvia pomifera and Salvia fruticosa) native to this area.
Scorthalou or Ascorthalou is a small picturesque village near Lakkoi (pronounced Lakki). Our farm is situated very close to “Kolessa” location.
The entire area is characterized by its astonishingly rich biodiversity. The landscape is an exceptional one (with caves and small canyons in close distance).
Although it has been repeatedly stricken by fire, nature found ways to rejuvenate and blossom again without any helpful intervention by the human factor.
Within the boundaries of the land that we own, numerous aromatic plants can be observed growing naturally along with wild greens known by tradition. Pink rock roses (Cistus creticus / Cistus incanus), Sage (Salvia pomifera), but also numerous Cretan wild greens spring up in between older and younger olive trees, all situated in an amphitheatrical landscape where any sort of human interference seems destined to be limited.
This is the place where we began collecting Pink Rock Roses (Cistus creticus / Cistus incanus).
Leaving the mountainous areas of Crete and heading towards one of the largest natural ports of the Mediterranean Sea, we find ourselves in Souda.
Here, in the nursery we maintain for our needs, our plants are being propagated and the necessary preparations are made before we plant them on our land.
Propagation from seeds or cuttings is done at the proper season depending on the species and the requirements of each plant and the needs of each land.
Here, we will also meet some more crops.
The most important is our “royal” Verbena (Aloysia citrodora) which from the first moment showed a special adaptability to the microclimate of the area, as well as the fragrant Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis).