A visit to Dr. Toupadakis' Gardens
"Education is the kindling of a flame, not the filling of a vessel" -- Socrates --

Dr. Toupadakis has two gardens. One in the backyard of his house and one at the university grounds through the Experimental College Community Garden program. Any student can have a garden! The Gardens of Toupadakis’ Students

Coming back from Greece this summer, I remembered the large clean beautiful grapes that I had left a month ago just before I left for Greece to visit my parents. I was expecting to see the grapes fully grown. What I actually found was just the stems from most of the grapes and only a few grapes left. Those grapes were actually left because they were not quite ready yet. The birds had eaten the ripe grapes!

That was a little disappointing but a lesson was learned and next year there is a very easy to way to solve the problem without actually doing any harm to anything. Picture 6496 shows the grapes which remained and those which had been eaten up. On picture 6494 you can see a dry kale because its root was eaten up by some underground animal. Despite these losses, the gardens produce a lot of products.

Pictures 6498 and 6500 show a variety of fresh and processed produce.

Picture 6501 shows that the grape leaves are not wasted but used for making the Greek dish of dolmades (stuffed grape leaves). In picture 6504 you see dry cherries. In picture 6505 you see fava beans.

Olives treated with table salt, picture 6506.

Picture 6507 shows cracked olives in lemon juice, salt and olive oil with garlic and oregano. This is worth making. All my friends like this kind of cured olives, but few are willing to learn how to make them.

Picture 6508 shows peaches and the jam made by my wife. Great color, huh! And imagine if you eat it on toasted bread early in the morning.

In picture 6509 you see frozen pieces of onions and garlic ready to use in salad or for cooking.

In picture 6510 I am seen in my garden at the backyard of my house growing a lot of basil used for making pesto. But also making “mesto” a word I made up for making the same thing but using mint leaves instead basil leaves. Yum! Picture 6511.

See the grapes from a vine that was given to me during Picnic Day, picture 6513. Last year my wife made “petimezi” from their juice Yum! Ask me what petimezi is and how you make it. This year I will try to make wine out of the grape juice.

In picture 6515 my wife poses with some fruit products. Needless to say, most of the jams are made by her.

So besides the great joy of working with nature, and in nature, recalibrating yourself by watching the sunsets and take time for yourself away from your studying, you also end up with a great variety of foods so abundant that your friends will be glad you are their friend.

It makes sense to get a garden. Are you still thinking about it? See you there soon.


Dr Toupadakis at the Gardens
















Some recent images

Dr. Toupadakis in his garden Dr. Toupadakis in his garden Dr. Toupadakis in his garden with Mei and Alex
Dr. Toupadakis in his garden with Skender Dr. Toupadakis in his garden with his sister Dr. Toupadakis' garden - Mastixaki
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