Following the successful inclusion of the traditional knowledge of the production of melipasto / melichloro cheese in the National Catalogue of Intangible Cultural Heritage, of Greece, in the summer of 2020 MedINA, in collaboration with the Anemoessa Association, submitted a file for the agro-pastoral system of the Lemnos mandra.
The mandra system concerns all the traditional practices that allow the kehaghia, the farmer-stockbreeder of Lemnos, to make the most of the natural resources at his disposal. These practices in the past aimed at self-sufficiency and now aim to optimise production in ways that benefit both people and the environment and ensure a sustainable future for the primary sector of Lemnos.
Residents of Lemnos shared with MedINA’s associates their experience and memories from the traditional mandra, the practices they used in the past and how they have evolved in the present. Closely connected with the way of life and the agricultural-livestock production in the past was the socio-economic and property framework that prevailed in Lemnos until the time of mass migration in the mid-1960s, the so-called misiako or timisariko, during which the landless people of Lemnos undertook the care and cultivation of the lands of large landowners in exchange for half of the production, as well as a set of other obligations.
In the years that followed the desertification of the island due to migration, the exploitation of the land and its production passed into the hands of the Kehaghiades, who, however, safeguarded many traditional production methods, local varieties of seeds, as well as local animal breeds. With this heritage, Lemnos meets the challenges of the modern era and is called to meet the demands of the future, with the help of a series of training activities and extroversion activities that ensure the necessary competitiveness of the Lemnian products.
We want to express our gratitude to all the residents that shared this valuable information with us. A video dedicated to the mandra system with segments of these discussions will be available soon.