HISTORY ETHNOGRAPHY NATURE WINE-MAKING SITE MAP
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SIR SAMUEL WHITE BAKER
CYPRUS AS I SAW IT IN 1879
page 64

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wild vegetables which the soil produces in abundance. If the people are too inert to improve the qualities and to extend the cultivation of vegetables, it is easy to comprehend their neglect of the tree-planting so necessary to the climatic requirements of this island. The oil-press is similar to the old-fashioned cidermill of England. The fruit, having been dried in the inn, is placed in a circular trough in which the stone wheel revolves, driven by a mule and pole. When sufficiently crushed, and reduced to a paste, it is divided into basketfuls ; these are subjected to pressure by the common vertical screw, and the oil is expressed, but is not clarified. It is generally rancid and unfit for European consumption. In travelling through Cyprus the medicine-chest may dispense with castor-oil, as the olive-oil of the country is a good substitute. By the government report, the yield of oil in 1877 was estimated at 250,000 okes (of 2§ lbs.) valued at about nine piastres per oke, but during the same year foreign olive-oil to the value of .£1,706 was imported. There can be little doubt that special attention should be bestowed upon the improvement of the olive cultivation in Cyprus, and grafts of the best varieties should be introduced from France and Spain ; in a few years an important improvement would result, and the superabundant oil of a propitious season would form an article of export, instead of (as at present) being converted into soap, as otherwise un saleable. Our crowd of female admirers was happily dispersed by a slight shower of rain, and by clouds which threatened a downpour ; the men remained, and a swarthy-looking thoroughbred Turk promised to accompany me on the morrow and show me the

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