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Exploring Greek Food Systems: Krystal German, Agribusiness

Posted: November 16, 2014

Greece was a great experience and I am so glad to have had the opportunity to be able to participate in such an adventure.
At the American Farm School

At the American Farm School

Greece was a once in a life time opportunity and I am so thrilled I was able to get a chance such as this. When we arrived in Greece we spent some time at the American Farm School. We were able to see their production as they make many products to sell. They have a small dairy industry and milk twice a day just as many farmers in the United States. They use every aspect of the production such as the manure. As the cows get older they sell them and buy new ones. The Farm School bottles and sells their own milk. We saw the entire bottling process in motion. It was really neat as it was small, but super productive. They have a chicken production. We were not able to see inside the barns, but we saw the conveyer belt that carried the eggs to the outside of the barn.  Their milk and eggs are in local stores in Greece as well as in their school store. They used to have a slaughter house, but they no longer are in that business. The building has now been in construction to be the preschool.                                                      

The Archaeological museum was very interesting. We saw all kinds of personal items and house ware people used to use. Also there were statues and pieces of buildings that used to be standing. During class in the Spring semester my research project was to research honey. Honey in Greece is the finest and best honey in the world. One reason for this is because of the 1,500 species of plants that are only grown in Greece. In the museum they had an old clay beehive. I learned that beekeeping was a form of wealth because honey was the number one sweetener. Beehives were made of wood and other materials. The one that was displayed was clay.  They also had a girl that was buried and because of the way she was preserved her hair was still attached to her skull. It was a skull with long brown hair and eyebrows. Very interesting. I liked how they decorated some of their clothing items. They were decorated with gold pieces.  There were many pieces of jewelry that were really nice and they had a lot of style and culture to them. The museum had an electronic table and it was a picture of Greece. Then you could take a card and hold it over any point on the map and the card would display all sorts of information about that town in Greece. It was very unique and informational.                    

We had some classes while we were there. I really enjoyed learning about the history of Greece. I found it interesting that the Greeks were able to hold off the Germans in WWll. They fought a hard battle against the Germans and it took the Germans longer to defeat them then they planned. Since it took so long to defeat the Greeks the Germans were unable to send as many troops to Russia that they had originally planned. People say that is part of the reason the Russians were able to defeat the Germans. The other part I enjoyed hearing about was the way Greece was formed. Greece has two thousand islands. It is said that God made all the countries with large stones and whatever he had left he threw over his shoulder and that became Greece. We had a few other lectures on farming and food traditions and livestock production.                                       

We visited a women's cooperative, a tea and beer brewery, a winery, grape vine production and villages for buffalo products. What I liked about all these places is they were the first in the country or the best in their business. We did not visit any ole place, they were all highly ranked and respected companies in the country. They grow their own materials and then create their own products that are excellent. Marianna's Farm creates products from grape vines and their leaves. They took six products to a huge convention in Europe to be judged. Out of ten thousand products only about twenty five hundred get either one, two, or three stars. Marianna's Farm received at least one star for all six of their products that they took.                                             

Lastly, the food was great. I thought that was an experience all in itself. There was so many different foods to try, it was overwhelming. I ate octopus which I thought was incredible. It had to be cooked right and sometimes we got it and it was not as good, but for the most part it was awesome. They eat fish heads over there so I tried one. It was really tasteful. I thought they were more tasteful then the body of the fish. I enjoyed trying all the different foods they have and the style of eating. One difference is they get bread at the beginning of the meal and then they also get bread at the end of the meal to dunk into the left over sauce. The food was amazing and it is one of the parts I will remember the best.                                                   

Greece was a great experience and I am so glad to have had the opportunity to be able to participate in such an adventure. With the support of generous people it is trips like these that are made easier for the students and the efforts are greatly appreciated. I learned so much and will always have great memories from Greece to share.