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SIR SAMUEL WHITE BAKER
CYPRUS AS I SAW IT IN 1879
page 140

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The leaf-stems of the artichokes were peeled and eaten raw by the inhabitants, but as these people are accustomed to consume all kinds of uncooked vegetables and unripe fruits few civilised persons would indulge in the Cypriote tastes. W e found the artichoke stems uneatable in a raw state, but remarkably good when peeled and stewed, with a sauce of yolk of egg beaten up with oil, salt, pepper, and lemon-juice ; they were then quite equal to sea-kale. There is a general neglect in the cultivation of vegetables which I cannot understand, as agriculture is the Cypriote's vocation ; it can hardly be called laziness, as they are most industrious in their fields, and expend an immense amount of labour in erecting stone walls to retain a small amount of soil wherever the water-wash from a higher elevation brings with it a deposit. The insignificant terraces thus formed by earth caught in its descent while in solution appear disproportioned to the labour of their construction, and the laborious system would suggest an extreme scarcity of land suitable for agricultural operations. I believe this to be the case, and that a serious mistake has been made in assuming that the Crown possesses large areas of land that may eventually become of great value. There are government lands, doubtless, of considerable extent, but I question their agricultural importance, and whenever the ordnance-map of the island shall be completed a wild confusion will be discovered in the discrepancy of title-deeds with the amount of land in possession of the owners. I have, whilst shooting in the wild tracts of scrub-covered hills and mountains, frequently emerged upon clearings of considerable extent, where the natives have captured a fertile plot and cleared it for cultivation, far away from the eyes of all authorities.

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