This is an interview with Manos from Greece. He is a volunteer in our little permaculture farm Dio Pigadia. He stayed at a permaculture farm in Vrisi in April 2022 for 11 days. This farm does not have a Website, only a Workaway profile.
How did you hear about that place in Vrisi?
The same way I found this project. I was looking on workaway for permaculture farms in Greece and found that great place. They had a good description and reviews so I applied. They answered and welcomed me right away.
How did you get there?
If you are abroad you go by plane to Athens and from there with a single 2-hour bus to Vrisi.
The bus leaves you in a nearby village Monodri so they needed to pick me up by car. It was about 10-minute drive.
Tell us a bit about this place
The owner is called Petros. He should be around 35 years and he lives there with his father. Each of them have their own floor so there are no conflicts between them. While I was there the father was helping his son to build a trailer. They really help each other out in their family farm.
Their house was basically a homestead with a few vegetables, animals, olive trees, oranges, almonds and lemons. They also have 2 separate fields in a different remote locations. One of them was olive trees and the other one was a food forest.
A long time ago they used this place as a summer house and at some time they decided to move to the house and live there.
Surrounded by mountains, river and facing the sea this place is a paradise.
Petros is also a semi-pro rock climber, so we went for climbing together about 3 times. We went for hiking in the mountains and across the river.
He bought a field what was not a normal flat field you usually buy as a farmer. Which means there was a high slope, wild area with pine trees and a lot of thorny bushes. They needed to start creating access in order to plant food trees and olive trees there.
They are planting trees in the shade of already existing trees for protection, which is a permaculture technique for building a food forest. This technique is called succession planting.
I forgot to mention he is into bee-keeping with about 20 beeboxes, but wants to expand in the future. The honey he makes is a combination of thyme and lavender, which was very tasty.
Have you been alone there?
Half of my time I was alone with the two and after that another volunteer came to join us. Even though the father couldn’t speak English he helped a lot in the house and the farm. He was going fishing and bringing back fresh fish as well. He was a really kind person and we really bonded together.
How did you live there?
I had a room for myself until the second volunteer came. 2 separate beds and a private bathroom with toilet and shower to wash yourself. We had warm water, energy and internet connection over our cellphones. Unfortunately there was no Wi-Fi but the Greek 4G connection is good. He could host more people.
How was the cooking routine?
There was a rotation between the host and the volunteers. Also, the father was cooking us the fresh fish he caught. Some days we were cooking together which was fun.
Vegetables we took from the garden. On my stay there were spring vegetables available like lettuce, different types of kale (the normal and purple one which is really special), beans and peas.
They were having their own meat with chickens, pigeons, rabbit and also exchanging different type of meat with the neighbours like goat. They tried to not buy industrial meat, rather exchanging it with others in the community.
For vegans I imagine there are plenty of options like own bread, a lot of vegetables and fruits.
What did you enjoy the most in your stay?
I enjoyed the most to be part of the family. It didn’t feel like being a volunteer at all. I was spending a lot of free time with the host and was included in his plans outside of work. I also got to meet a lot of Petros’s friends.
I definitely recommend this place to others. I hope to come back sometime.
Thanks Manos for this great interview! We are happy to have you at Dio Pigadia sharing this information.