The second IEF Villa Alliance Knowledge Sharing Event took place in May this year on Paxos.
Joined by villa managers, gardeners, cooks and owners we shared advice and resources for water conservation, planting for butterflies and the importance of sourcing locally grown ingredients for cooking. Our rationale continues to be that if villas can make small changes in the way that they operate that demonstrate a care and concern for conservation, then these actions will trickle down into the whole community…small actions, big waves.
A local chef living on Paxos demonstrated how to prepare a delicious blue crab salad using all ingredients from his garden and the invasive (but very tasty) blue crab! In line with the iSea’s #pickthealien Project last year, the chef explained the importance of sourcing local ingredients and asking for blue crab and lion fish to ensure these invasive species are taken out of the Ionian marine ecosystem.
Blue Swimmer Crab Salad with a Cucumber Gazpacho and Seasonal Baby Vegetables
A light summer starter showcasing the delicate white meat of the invasive Blue Swimmer Crab together with seasonal Paxiot herbs and vegetables.
Ingredients (serves 2)
100g picked white crab meat (from the Blue Crab)
2 large cucumbers
1 green chilli
1 bunch each coriander, parsley and mint
White Balsamic Vinegar
Handful of unshelled broad beans and fresh peas
Crab: Combine the picked white crab meat with a tablespoon of mayonnaise, the zest of 1 lime and salt and pepper.
Gazpacho: For the gazpacho remove the seeds from one large cucumber and juice in a masticating juicer together with half a green chilli, a handful of coriander, parsley and mint and half a green apple. Season the gazpacho and pass through a fine sieve. Once strained balance the gazpacho with white balsamic vinegar and the juice of the lime and place in the fridge until ready to serve.
Vegetables: Remove the broad beans and peas from their pods and add to a pan of boiling salted water. Blanch for 1 minute and immediately plunge into ice water. Once cooled, unshell the outer skins from the beans and peas and reserve. They should retain some of their crunch and remain a bright green colour.
To plate the dish: place a spoonful of the crab salad in the middle of the bowl. Garnish with a scattering of the vegetables and pour the gazpacho around the crab.
Following the success of Corfu Butterfly Conservation’s dissemination of butterfly posters to 4000 school children last year, aiming to inspire care and interest in conservation, the IEF and CBC developed a follow-up poster ‘Gardening for Butterflies’ to illustrate 4 examples of local plants that will attract butterflies. The hope is that villa owners will promote such plants in their gardens and so fuel a healthy butterfly habitat.
The IEF’s Executive Director also explained the Waves For Change actions that all villa owners can take to ensure they tread more lightly on the environment. With a focus on water conservation she explained that by adding an aerated shower fitting, 3000 litres per week could be saved (assuming a villa hosts 6 people all showering twice daily). That’s 36,000 litres over a summer season in just one villa. If all villas are taking these actions, then the impacts are great. For a copy of the Water Awareness Tips to place in your bathrooms, please see the attached PDF.
It was wonderful to meet so many people working within the tourist sector determined to make positive changes to safeguard the local environment. As our members grow, we feel confident that our actions will resonate to ensure that this sector of the tourist industry reduces its impact on the precious environment in which it operates.
We are also very proud to announce that the IEF Villa Alliance won Best Fundraising Initiative at The Conservation Collective’s Annual Awards this year, presented by the IEF’s ambassador Lee Durrell.
If you would like more information about how to get involved then please do contact: email@example.com.