Several days prior to the carob harvest, the residents of Prasteio prepared their instruments, including berks, satsias (sacks) or bags, bisatsias, baskets-coffins, saddlebags and straturkas or saddles for the donkeys, which were the only means of transportation at the time. In addition, they stuffed the donkeys with what they termed “petalloma” to prepare them for their work.
When the day arrived, the farmers set out for the fields alongside their helpers, who were primarily family members but also contracted labourers. Everyone would arrive at the field simultaneously and begin working. Using a short stick, the youths would climb the tree and shake the carobs, causing them to tumble to the ground. The remainder plucked carobs from the ground with short and long poles, respectively.
The women gathered the carobs from below and placed them in the available baskets, coffins, and bags. After 1940, producers utilised ”canabitse,” which they spread beneath the tree for the carobs to land on. Following this, the sacks were transported to the house and from there to the warehouses on the shore of the neighbouring village of Avdimou.
The carobs were conveyed from the warehouses in boats moored at the dock to the ship, which was anchored at sea due to the lack of a port. The merchandise was then transported to its destination. These events occurred during carob harvest season.
The sale of “black gold” was the primary source of income for a number of residents, allowing them to support their families. The process of harvesting and transporting this product has evolved, as has the majority of agricultural labour. Carob is suitable for sustainable agriculture because it requires minimal human intervention and has minimal requirements for chemical interventions (pesticides), nutrients (fertilisers), and mechanical processing, while providing an abundance of healthy and natural food products suitable for a variety of applications.