I know it’s hard to believe, but the purpose for my trip to Crete was purely academic. Yes, I went to the beach, explored archaeology sites, played with critters, ate delicious food, and came back with a tan, but I assure you, I was there to learn.
Most of the Perennial Crops module focused on grapes and olives, the two main crops on Crete. The grapes are mostly used for wine, and the olives make the best olive oil I’ve ever tasted in my life.* We learned about viticulture, wine making (useful information for the Mormon to know, right?), pruning, processing olive oil, using pheromones to control insects, combining livestock with perennial crops, and agrotourism.
And even if that particular module hadn’t been taught in Greece, it still would have been my favorite** since I loooove perennials. Some of my very favorite memories involve picking fruit from the bushes, trees, and vines scattered across my childhood. Watching for bears as we raided the blueberry and raspberry bushes by the Rock on Dotty Lake, scrounging for blackberries in the vacant lot on Falcon Drive, picking apples and peaches at the church orchards with my Mom and friends, pruning grape vines at the Villa with my Philmont pals. So many good things have happened around perennials.
If my plans to find a job in food security don’t pan out, maybe I’ll branch out a little and look for a job in an orchard.
I’m kind of rooting for that option.
(Okay, okay. I’ll stop being such a sap now.)
* In fact, when I came back to the UK and had some of the olive oil I had in my cupboard, my mouth didn’t know what to make of it. “What is this stuff?” it screamed at me. “Take me back to Greece and give me some real olive oil!”
** Tied for first place with the livestock module, actually.