Organic farming gets clerical blessing

A few months ago, Neophytos, Bishop of Morphou, agreed to be interviewed by Kathimerini at the bishopric’s cathedral city of Evrychos in Cyprus, the center of episcopal organic cultivation that started in 2002 with potatoes. Since then, much has happened. A respected German company certifies that the products and organic crops are now grown on 400 hectares of land. Wheat, barley, vegetables (tomatoes, cucumbers, etc.), chickpeas, herbs, oranges and grapefruit have been added to the original potatoes. In 2002, the first certified organic olive oil was produced. Part of the produce is exported (in Germany, Morphou potatoes are in great demand), while the rest is bound for the local market. At one time organic cultivation seemed a rather forward-looking choice. But the bishop strongly impresses as a man who has walked on the straight and narrow path not because he knows the tricks of the trade, but because of a firm faith in his values and ethics.