A short story about my stay at the permaculture farm in Vrisi

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.

rock climbing

Food Forest?

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.

If you are into permaculture farming check out our Instagram or apply on Workaway for a great community stay in Greece.

What others think about us

  • Avatar We learn as we wander ★★★★★ a week ago
    My daughter and I only wanted to visit Dio Pigadia for one afternoon but we ended up staying three weeks. It was a truly great experience for us and we … More both enjoyed taking care of the animals, gardens and veggies on the farm and fell in love with this little paradise. We ate daily together with the other volunteers amazing fresh meals with very tasty vegetables from the garden, helped out at a beach clean up event and even went sailing together.
    Saying goodbye was a hard one here but we both know for sure we want to come back, so it's only bye for now and thank you for everything Jules.
    Lia, Jenny and Tito
  • Avatar R Bungener ★★★★★ 2 months ago
    What an incredible place where nature and humans work in collaboration to enable sustainable living and agriculture.
    Not only is Dio Pigadia in gorgeous
    … More setting, in the hills between Pylos and Methani, the people there are also really nice. A must visit whether you're a volunteer or visiting the area (they do hope evenings on Fridays!).
    They also have rental cottages (Nectar Pylos) which are a gem to stay in if you're visiting.
  • Avatar Jules Canquelain ★★★★★ a month ago
    What a magical place to take a break, get away from this world where everything is going too fast. Here, we get closer to the most essential things in … More life: the earth, love, autonomy, good vegetables, animals, crafting and the most important !! INCREDIBLE FOOOOOD !!
    All of this in a wonderful community of sharing and mutual aid.
    What a pleasure to take care of mother nature and help her as we can.
    This is where it all begins !
    Thank you family
    See you soon 🫶
  • Avatar Hugo Prd ★★★★★ 4 months ago
    We worked there as volonteers for a month and it was truely an amazing adventure! Such a good atmosphere and filled with nice people. We learned a lot … More ans had some small responsabilities in the community, which is a thing we loved.
    Jules is so welcoming and always ready to share about his project!
    We miss you already and can't wait to come back!! Love
    Julie and Hugo
  • Avatar Kajsa ★★★★★ 4 months ago
    Dio Pigadia is a little slice of paradise. A safe haven for people who want to slow down, get into the earth and reconnect with nature. Beautiful gardens … More and veggies, you can really tell that everything is made with the principles of permaculture in mind. Staying as a volunteer is so great, the work is fun and rewarding. The people who are attracted to this project are beautiful and I have learned so much! Thank you Jules and the rest of the team
  • Avatar Lucia Christ ★★★★★ 8 months ago
    Dio Pigadia...what a place!
    I came as a volunteer to stay for six weeks and it turned out to be such a great and interesting time. Learning "little"
    … More farming skills, building a relationships with all the animals around, laughing at the shared meals with all the other volunteers, getting an image about how we can treat our environment in a sustainable way...
    I would definitely recommend joining for some time as a volunteer or just looking by to enjoy some veggies and olive oil!
    Thanks for this experience Dio Pigadia and Jules, the "Master of Mesochori" (and the "chef" of the farm, but don't call him that ;)!
  • Avatar Theresa Aston ★★★★★ 11 months ago
    Very impressive small-scale farm in the Peloponnese region of Greece. The olive oil they produce is the best I’ve ever had, as well as the tomatoes, eggplant… … More everything here is delicious! Truly a (healthy) culinary experience! The owner Jules is a very inspiring guy with a refreshing philosophy of what sustainable living entails. Don’t miss an opportunity to visit! Definitely worth it for the delicious food, friendly animals, and beautiful community :)
  • Avatar Noel Gilmartin ★★★★★ 10 months ago
    I recently visited with our family during the August peak, when the farm is open to visitors on Friday evenings.
    It was a perfect evening and the atmosphere
    … More in this secluded, elevated location with the beautiful evening sky and stunning countryside, with views all around was truly magical. You could feel the presence of the ancients who surely farmed these hills before us!
    On arrival we received a really friendly welcome from Jules, the principal, who immediately invited us on a tour of the farm and was keen to explain everything about the philosophy of the operation.
    Jules, a Frenchman, is the kind of charismatic, almost messianic, personality that you can connect with right away.  He's a great communicator and a very open person who has great enthusiasm and energy for this project. He doesn't have fixed ideas about how the farm, which is still in the early stages of development, should proceed. He knows he's doing, but seems very open to ideas and suggestions - for example a volunteer had recently set up a website and social media presence for the farm.
    Jules is passionate above all about farming sustainably, and you can see this from the mulching on the soil (contrasting with the usual ploughing / cultivation).
    But the overall impression on this particular evening was of serenity and harmony of people together with nature.
    The products on offer taste fantastic - e.g. organic peppers & varieties of tomatoes, aubergines, and jars of ratatouille, tomato paste, olive oil... wow!
    Jules is also aware of the current alignment of Dio Pigadia with the post-Covid zeitgeist - the great awakening or reset of values - that life is more than the corporate 9 to 5,  (a bit like the Woodstock generation?), and there's a better partnership with nature to be achieved, especially through the smart use of technology now at our disposal. Volunteers work on the farm and for a variety of tasks - the perfect environment to experience nature, sustainable farming and companionship. Pay a visit and see for yourself!
  • Avatar Jan Schulz ★★★★★ 8 months ago
    We stayed in dio pigadia for one month, it was our first time as volunteers and it could not have been better!
    To cook everyday with fresh vegetables from
    … More the garden, eat the freshest (and maybe best) olive oil, work with our hands and always be surrounded by animals was
    We also learned much about permaculture, biodiversity, sustainability, to compost and to cook marmelade or peti mezi, the nectar of the greek gods.
    However, for us the best and also most in depth experience was to talk with other peoples from all over the world and especially with Jules about our western society, climate change, to learn to question the way we live in every aspect and to get new ideas for the future.
    So it was a really enriching stay and we are full of respect for Jules, his project and his vigour to try to spread his ideas.
    We totally recommend to visit the farm when you are in greece and we hope to come back one time!! Thanks Jules.
    Inga and Jan
  • Avatar Hans Van Dam ★★★★★ 10 months ago
    The combination sailor and landman is a common one on the islands in the Netherlands (in the old days). It was very nice to see Jules recalling that principle … More in Greece again.
    He is equally good and dedicated to both.
    His dedication is seen for sailing in the beautiful work he did on his wooden sailboat and even more in his diligence with which he started and developed this lovely Dio Pigadia 9km from the sea.
    Using old and often forgotten principles of cultivating the earth and crop, he developed the most fantastic veggie garden and olive tree orchard.
    He is the one giving you biological olive oil and vegetables with the real taste they should have and nutritional value that mono culture farmers have long time forgotten.
    And for volunteers: the relaxed atmosphere Jules and your colleagues have on Dio Pigadia is enough reason to apply for a place where you can learn about permaculture.
    It was a real pleasure to meet you and I wish you all succes you deserve. Good Luck.
    Hans, Zephyr