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Petrakis Panayiotis

We are what we eat, drink, breathe. What you give, you take back. If you do something natural, you get back a natural product.  I don’t care what I wear. I care what I eat, what my children will eat.

Panayiotis Petrakis has been an olive farmer for a quarter century, caring for trees that have been in his family for 100 years, as well as more trees acquired later--a grand total of 4,000 trees. Olive trees, he says, are “our tradition, culture, work.” As a child, he followed his father to the olive groves and then to the traditional, family-run olive mill, a stone mill very different from today’s, where the whole village took their olives in the evenings at harvest time.

Panayiotis doesn’t use pesticides. He cultivates the land, does what’s necessary, and leaves the rest as it is, since he says “I believe that what’s outside will come to me eventually—will be breathed, eaten, drunk. If you spray, you get chemicals back. What I want for my family is for what we eat and drink to be clean.” He emphasizes that for him, “olive oil is #1. We have never used anything else in our family. We use very much olive oil. We don’t ever measure it—just put in what we need. If you’re hungry and you have bread, olive oil, and olives, you don’t need anything else. You won’t go hungry.”

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