From the 18th to the 21st of October Lenneke Schot editor of Biojournaal, FreshPlaza's sister website for organic products visited various organic growers in Greece. The press trip was organised by Gerasimos Karantinos, who leads to cooperation Bio Net West Hellas. On the morning of Monday the 20th of October the group visited Sotiris Ligdas and his son Giorgos.

Sotiris Ligdas.

Sotiris' cultivation company is located in the Greek region of Kalyvia, in the valley of the Acheloos river. Around half of the citrus grown in the region is organic, according to Gerasimos. "Sotiris is one of the first growers to connect to Bio Net West Hellas," according to Gerasimos.

Gerasimos indicates that Sotiris consciously growers earlier varieties and that due to this his clementines and oranges are often ripe earlier than other Bio Net West Hellas growers. But this grower is also experiencing the effects of the warm weather. "Due to the lack of cold nights the fruits aren't ripe yet. In other years they were ripe around this time." The expectation is that the harvest will start in around 15 days at the earliest. "If this weather continues the product won't be available until mid November." It has now become a little colder, which is good for the harvest.

Walking through the orchard the blue coloured tree trunks stand out. "This is copper that we use against mould." Most oranges that had started to turn orange were affected but the Mediterranean fruit fly. "This fly is causing a lot of problems, especially when it stays warm for this long." Yet Gerasimos doesn't expect a lot of loss in production due to this. "But we do need cold weather soon!"

The fruit on the right is already orange, this is the result of it being affected by the Mediterranean fruit fly.

Sotiris grows oranges (Navelina, Valencia and Moro) and mandarins (Clementines, Ortanic and Nova).

Sun soaked orchard with mainly green oranges.

Gerasimos Karantinos shows the difference between an almost ripe and a still green orange.

Primarily green/yellow oranges on the trees.

Tasting the orange.

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