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
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
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
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
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