I have spent the last couple of weeks at an organic farm a few hours north of Athens and will be here one more week.
I have been working many more hours than I would usually give to a volunteer project (normal deal is 4-5 hours per day, 5 days per week. This project is 30 hours per week split across 5.5 per day Mon-Fri and 3 on a Saturday). The work isn’t too bad, we have done a lot of planting, which is something I wanted to learn about whilst travelling, a bit of harvesting, and lots of clearing and tidying.
The amount of weeding, the fact the guy is four years in to this project and its loosing money, the inefficiencies everywhere relating to organic and small scale farming, and the amount of work this guy has to do whilst not profiting has cemented my belief that this isn’t something I’ll do in the future. The cob building was slow but cheap and extremely future proof and long term efficient. Because of this, I would feel comfortable building and living in a cob house should I find myself short on money in the future. However this type of farming I see here, and at another project tells me that as a form of income, this type of farming just doesn’t seem to work.
The profit aside, the amount of work needed, and the amount of weeding puts me off completely. It has led me on to my next research point which is aquaponics. I feel as a farming method, starting from a small scale and expanding, it seems much more efficient and future-proof.
So I have arranged to spend a month at an aquaponics farm in Tennessee in October. My travel plans have changed also, so after going back to the UK for August I won’t be going to India, but instead will go back to the Americas. Starting in Boston hitchhiking to LA, through various states and detours, followed by Mexico, Central America and then south again.
Back to this project. It’s nice to know a bit more about seeding, planting, harvesting etc. Its nice to know it’s pretty easy for a home garden or something. I’ve eaten mainly vegan, mainly organic for a few weeks, got rid of the t shirt tan I aquired during my walk, eaten many Greek salads and that’s about it.
I’m with a friend and as the hours are so long, and the owner is tough to deal with, we aren’t going to stay the final week, so on the 24th we are heading to a beach resort and camping at a little cove that I saw whilst swimming last week.
After that we’ll hitchhike to Athens ad catch a plane back to England.