and carob was considered as 'the black gold of Cyprus' since it was very important for the local economy as the island was making huge exports," said Menelaos Stavrinides, assistant professor at CUT and national coordinator of the Agrolife project which is co-funded by the EU's LIFE+ programme.
For example, they have been inspired to utilise a technique seen elsewhere to protect carob trees in Anogyra from mice, by placing metal shields on the trunks of the trees which prevents access to the foliage and branches.
Rats and mice are considered as the biggest threat to carob production as they feed on tree branches, which causes branches to dry out and productionto fall, but Sergides said they also threaten the indigenous beetle, propomacrus cypriacus, which can be found only in Cyprus, and live on carob trees.
Earlier this month, as the azure summer Galilee skies began clouding over, Juma'a gave me another piece of advice: "You better pick your carob before the rains.
At the edges I planted a variety of native Galilee seedlings: olive, oak, hawthorn, wild maple, pistachio, myrtle, rock rose, bay leaf, Judah's tree, terebinth, and carob.
Among the seedlings to which the nanny goat helped herself was the carob by her house.
Research into carob
has been so successful that there is now a Carob
Growers Association in Western Australia and the promise of a new, multi-million dollar industry just around the corner.
Michalis Makri, an elderly farmer whose family has been cultivating carobs for generations, says nobody knows how long the trees have been standing.
Barn owls and black snakes are being enlisted in Cyprus to protect carob trees, known on the Mediterranean island since antiquity and once a flourishing export but now threatened by urbanisation and rats.