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What is biodiversity?
Biodiversity is the variety and variability of life on Earth. It is the symbiosis, interaction, the passive and active effects of the behaviour of different coliving species on one-another.
It is the beauty of nature, in human and non-human relationships.
Another way to put it is the following: Biodiversity represents each species capability and technical knowledge/expertese to adapt and survive in a rapidly changing environment.
Why is it important?
Biodiversity is crucial for our survival as a species. Eliminating biodiversity can lead to an unsustainable life on earth for us humans. “Without biodiversity, there is no future for humanity,” says Prof David Macdonald, at Oxford University.
Biodiversity means that the thousand different species of bugs, continuously pollinate hunders of thousands of different crops, flowers and trees, which produce all the fruit, vegetables and nuts we consume on a daily basis.
Among the countless benefits of biodiversity, we list a few below:
Increase ecosystem productivity; each species in an ecosystem has a specific role to play.
Support a larger number of plant species and, therefore, a greater variety of crops.
Protect freshwater resources.
Promote soils formation and protection.
Provide for nutrient storage and recycling.
Aid in breaking down pollutants.
Contribute to climate stability.
Speed recovery from natural disasters.
Provide food resources.
Olive Oil from the Sea actively ensures biodiversity in our olive tree farms, and contributes to sustain biodiversity in the ecosystem around us, the main principle being the following:
Every living organism - flowers, trees, bushes, animals (underwater or land), bugs, ants & bacteria,
should be able to thrive in harmony with us, as they did before we intervened, or better.
On top of that, the ecosystem of trees and fruit around our olive trees is responsible for the excellent taste of our oil!
During olive oil tastings, we frequently find the green almond or fig taste and aroma in it.
In the following pictures, we will take a walk through our organic farm, from which Geras Organic EVOO is harvested, together with Grigoris Gliglis, the owner of the farm and the principal, developer and responsible of the Geras project.
Pic.1-2: Sticks used to support olive tree branches. When the trees start producing fruit, the branches can break from the weight of the olives. We use sticks to upport the branches so that they do not get injured.
Pic.3: Some vines among the olive trees.
Pic.4: Small vegetable garden. Tomatoes, peppers, courgettes.
Pic.5: To support the young trees to grow without fertilizers and pesticides, we cover the soil around them so that it does not receive sunlight. As a result, small plants and grass under the cover will not grow, leaving some space and nutrients in the soil for the young olive tree to grow.
Pic.6: A ray of sunlight on a young fig tree.
Pic.7-8: Our farm includes an organic lavender plantation. In this picture you can see the lavender among the olive trees. When the lavender blooms, a purple-violet blanket covers our farm, painting a vibrant canvas.
Pic.9-10 Branches and leaves from the olive trees and other bushes, forming a line between the trees. These branches are a form of waste as they are no longer useful for the farm.
A common practice among farmers in different countries to get rid of this waste, is to burn these branches. This will create further waste, CO2 and other harmful for the ozone layer substances.
At OOFTS, we have developed a way to transform them in organic fertilizer, and to protect the soil from the UV radiation from the burning sun in the summer.
To do this, we crush them and spread them around the farm, forming a "blanket" above the soil. This has a twofold benefit:
1. Once the leaves start the decomposition process, they will be turned into fertilizer material for the soil, help the trees develop further grow.
2. On top of that, the blanket will protect the soil from burning under the blazing summer sun, allowing moisture to be maintained at higher levels throughout the year.
Pic.11: Cyclamens growing among the olive tree leaves.
Pic.12: Our farm starts at sea level and goes up to approximately 120m altitude. On top, it meets the forest area, where olive trees slowly swap place with pine-trees and conifers.
Pic.13: Grigoris, explaining to us the mechanism of the custom eco-friendly fly-traps. Re-using old plastic bottles and ensuring that only flies will be attracted to them, not bees or other bugs.
Pic.14: The captain of the farm, on his throne.
Pic.15 Another view of the vegetabel garden.
Pic.16 Wild grass growing fleely followig the rain season.
Pic.17 The "Freshman" area. In this section of the farm we are planting new olive trees. You can notice the space around the trees, occupied by green grass and flowers, due to the excess water it receives.
Pic.18-19 This is the boundary of our farm, where it meets the forest.
Pic. 20-21. A river separates our farm in two, and is connected to a lake. Once the rain water has reached a certain level, water from the river and the lake is routed to an old stone water basin with a faucet, where locals can come and freely re-fill their reserves with drinkable water. You can notice the river trail as several trees grow in and around its banks.
We hope you enjoyed the tour! As usual, we are eager to hear your comments and questions. Talk to us, send us a mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.