The remote Greek island of Lemnos is located in the North Eastern Aegean between Lesvos and Samothrace. Its rugged terrain, lowland plains and 260 km long coastline distinguishes Lemnos as a place rich in biodiversity and steeped in history that stretches back to the Neolithic period.

The remote Greek island of Lemnos is located in the North Eastern Aegean between Lesvos and Samothrace. Its rugged terrain, lowland plains and 260 km long coastline distinguishes Lemnos as a place rich in biodiversity and steeped in history that stretches back to the Neolithic period.

Visitors to the island can experience the harmony of living off the land as it was before intensive agriculture and tourism development. Farmland mosaics dotted with patches of natural vegetation, oaks and fig trees, lush pastures grazed by sheep and goats, stone built traditional farms (called mandra), vineyards, roadside beehives and small villages, tell a thousand tales of rural entrepreneurs working hard to continue with a way of life that has been lost in so many places in the Mediterranean. The delicious smells, tastes, sights and sounds of Lemnos link us to the past and offer a more sustainable way of living now and in the future.

All photos © Stefan Meyer

Visitors to the island can experience the harmony of living off the land as it was before intensive agriculture and tourism development. Farmland mosaics dotted with patches of natural vegetation, oaks and fig trees, lush pastures grazed by sheep and goats, stone built traditional farms (called mandra), vineyards, roadside beehives and small villages, tell a thousand tales of rural entrepreneurs working hard to continue with a way of life that has been lost in so many places in the Mediterranean. The delicious smells, tastes, sights and sounds of Lemnos link us to the past and offer a more sustainable way of living now and in the future.

All photos © Stefan Meyer

Lemnos' goats | Mandra System of Lemnos, Greece
Visitors to the island can experience the harmony of living off the land as it was before intensive agriculture and tourism development. Farmland mosaics dotted with patches of natural vegetation, oaks and fig trees, lush pastures grazed by sheep and goats, stone built traditional farms (called mandra), vineyards, roadside beehives and small villages, tell a thousand tales of rural entrepreneurs working hard to continue with a way of life that has been lost in so many places in the Mediterranean. The delicious smells, tastes, sights and sounds of Lemnos link us to the past and offer a more sustainable way of living now and in the future.

All photos © Stefan Meyer

Conserving and restoring traditional farming landscapes on Lemnos

The Terra Lemnia project is working with farmers to support traditional and environmentally-friendly ways of working with the land, especially the mandra system. A mandra is an area of land fenced with dry stone occupied by an animal shed, a shepherd’s hut and a barn.

You will sometimes find a stone threshing floor, small creamery, bread oven or a small vegetable garden within its walls. Around the mandra animals graze on natural rangelands and farmlands are cultivated with cereal and leguminous crops either used as fodder for livestock or human consumption. They are sustainable homes and businesses of high ecological and cultural value.

Conserving and restoring traditional farming landscapes on Lemnos

The Terra Lemnia project is working with farmers to support traditional and environmentally-friendly ways of working with the land, especially the mandra system. A mandra is an area of land fenced with dry stone occupied by an animal shed, a shepherd’s hut and a barn.

You will sometimes find a stone threshing floor, small creamery, bread oven or a small vegetable garden within its walls. Around the mandra animals graze on natural rangelands and farmlands are cultivated with cereal and leguminous crops either used as fodder for livestock or human consumption. They are sustainable homes and businesses of high ecological and cultural value.

Working with the local community to value the landscape and create prosperity

With our project partners, we are working at many levels with practitioners on the ground, mobilising local stakeholders and building up our collective knowledge base of traditional agriculture and its positive impact on the environment. We have seen the abandonment of this way of living threatening local biodiversity and natural resources as more intensive farming is introduced, leaving this insular community more vulnerable to climate change.

We want to see the conservation or restoration of landscapes rich with local crop varieties, rangelands sown with seeds to create rich pastures and support sustainable grazing. To see more mandras being used on the hillsides. To have greater market value placed on local products and rewarding hard working rural entrepreneurs with certification for high quality products. To work with schools and young people, conveying the message of land stewardship and helping create multi functional farms for the future that are protected by law and get the funding they need not just to survive but to thrive.

To do all this, we need to treat our practitioners with respect and work together. To create a sense of pride in the island inhabitants, and to reach out to people across the waters to understand the value of traditional landscapes for our Mediterranean heritage and to preserve the wonders of nature.

Meet the

Lemnian Mediterranean Food Heroes

Lemnos Ecosystem in a Dish | Mandra System of Lemnos, Greece

Be inspired by our #MedFoodHeroes with these Mediterranean recipes using sustainable ingredients

Fava from Afkos or Lathouri

Fava from Afkos or Lathouri

Prep time - 5 mins |

Cook time - 30 mins |

Serves - Many |

Tyropitoudja (Lemnian Mini Cheese Pies)

Tyropitoudja (Lemnian Mini Cheese Pies)

Prep time - 1 hr |

Cook time - 30 mins |

Serves - Many |

Samsades With Sesame

Samsades With Sesame

Prep time - 1 - 1.5 hrs |

Cook time - 40 mins |

Serves - Many |

Aspromytika Bean Salad

Aspromytika Bean Salad

Prep time - 15 mins |

Cook time - 15 mins |

Serves - 2 |

MedINA | Alliance for Mediterranean Nature & Culture (AMNC)

This project is led by AMNC partner Mediterranean Institute for Nature and Anthropos (MedINA), in collaboration with:

AUA | Mandra System of Lemnos, Greece
University Aegean | Mandra System of Lemnos, Greece
University-of-Patras | Mandra System of Lemnos, Greece
AK&P | Mandra System of Lemnos, Greece
The-Green-Tank | Mandra System of Lemnos, Greece
tuv austria  | Mandra System of Lemnos, Greece
KIPA | Mandra System of Lemnos, Greece
ANEMOESSA | Mandra System of Lemnos, Greece
Hellenic Ornithological Society | Mandra System of Lemnos, Greece
Tour du Valat | Alliance for Mediterranean Nature & Culture (AMNC)
SPP | Mandra System of Lemnos, Greece
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