Living Traditions: Pandelis Zoumis, a Keeper of Paros' Farming Heritage
Explore the enduring legacy of Paros' self-sufficient lifestyle through the eyes of Pandelis Zoumis, a local farmer who embodies the island's traditional way of life, combining agriculture with essential crafts like blacksmithing.
Pandelis Zoumis represents a fading yet cherished way of life on Paros, where farming and fishing were not mere trades but means of survival and self-sufficiency.
This video captures Pandelis' deep connection to this heritage. Growing up in Kostos, he was immersed in farming from his earliest days, learning from his father and the community. Unlike many who have moved away from this lifestyle, Pandelis chose to continue it, blending agriculture with skills like blacksmithing, as secondary vocations were common among Paros farmers.
His life revolves around his farm, where he produces most of his food, minimizing his need for store-bought goods. Each year, he cultivates about 1000 litres of wine and 500-600 litres of olive oil from his hundred olive trees, which include both the small, oil-rich Koroneiki and the larger Aegean varieties. Some of these trees, situated across the village, are ancient, with histories spanning over 350 years.
In Pandelis' eyes, farming on Paros is a year-long commitment, involving diverse crops and animal husbandry, rooted in the island's tradition of self-reliance. He regards his olive trees with profound respect, seeing them as living symbols of Greek culture and essential contributors to his way of life.
Traditional farming is disappearing as a way of life in Greece. Josh Patterson, an IUI Luddy School of Informatics, Computing, and Engineering student, produced this documentary during his Study Abroad Trip to Paros, Greece, in 2017.