|15° C||79%||1011,2 hPa||34,6 km/h|
“All I need is water from Sirigga, grapes from Chroussa, and a bunch of basil from Kyperousa.”
– local saying
Kyperousa is a location which represents an exceptionally well-preserved example of traditional agricultural cultivation using the terracing method. Mr. Avgoustis, a farmer who cultivates the terraces in Kyperousa located next to the main road of the area, relates the story of a plant and specific kind of cultivation that characterized the area: the rose.
Roses used to be planted lining every terrace in the region lengthwise; the variety that was cultivated in these local gardens originated in Bulgaria and is known for its use in the production of aromatic rose water and essential oil, used to flavor the famed Syros “loukoumi” sweet. Mr. Avgoustis still cultivates some of these roses next to one of his terraces, in order to continue the tradition of their cultivation. It is no coincidence that the area is home to rich plant biodiversity, as terraces have been proven to help reduce soil erosion and drainage; indeed many small animals find refuge between the rocks, while insects find places to build nests.
The abandonment of terraces is one of the most important environmental issues faced on the Greek islands, since their destruction causes the unique protection they offer from the intense weather conditions prevailing in island ecosystems to vanish. A simultaneous consequence is the continual reduction of arable land on each island, and thus its potential for relative self-sufficiency in agricultural production.