Wednesday, August 22, 2012

SOUL & ADVENTURE: Eva Goes Organic Interview 2012 August. A post about volunteering on organic farms.

1, Where are you now?

I am right now in Slovenia, in a small village called Lipa in the Slovenian Karst, not far from the Adriatic Sea. I arrived 2 weeks ago to this farm which was founded by three friends from Ljubljana 1 year ago. They do permaculture farming, and grow their own  vegetable garden here. One of their friends educated them about how to set it up. Meanwhile they organize open air festivals, summits on the farm. It is a very dry summer in Slovenia now, so I can only help out in the tasks around the house now where they need some help.
Before that I spent one month in West-Hungary in Döröske on a family farm.

Photo All Rights Reserved by Eva Jocsak

Photo All Rights Reserved by Eva Jocsak

Photo All Rights Reserved by Eva Jocsak
-the guys above are the hosts of Eva in Slovenia.

2, How did you manage to step out from your previous lifestyle?

First I rented my flat, packed my belongings and I moved to a backpack. I can ensure anyone who thinks that he/she has too many belongings what he/she is clinging to: you are right! We just simply owe too much lumber, objects and still two days are enough to clean up your whole life: to wash the windows, to do the basic cleaning– women will understand the capital letters coming- and to pack the CLOTHES. After moving out I spent two weeks at the place of a good friend of mine, I attended a sewing-course, said goodbye to friends and family. I left some bureaucratic tasks for the last moments, but I had enough time to finish those too. 

Then I took the train and bus to Döröske and arrived at the Sábli-farm. J I know, it might seem too simple that this all was enough to end my previous life, but I really estimated the time well and could finish everything what I planned to finish. I never leave more time for anything than needed and do everything at the time when it feels right to do it. I think this is the secret of these smooth changes.

3, You wrote on your blog about the aquaponics-method you learned about lately ( Could you tell me in couple of sentences what is this method about?

Basically you set up a small „home-ecosystem” running itself which has many advantages. First of all: you can produce with this method fresh vegetables and fish during winter and summer, in our climate they use glasshouses for it. You can produce fresh, healthy food in that scale which is desired. The costs are minimal, most of the processes are natural. You only need human intervention and electricity for changing the water, feeding the fishes and putting the seeds of the vegetables to the ground. The usage of chemicals is forbidden, because it would ruin the natural balance.

Peter Gönczi who is a Hungarian expert in this field suggested that they could allow to schools to use these aquaponics-systems to teach about natural ecosystems, nature and sustainability (

4, How strict is your daily routine nowadays?

I have a really loose daily routine nowadays. My body absolutely found back to its natural rhythm. I wake up early in the morning (around 7). Then wee discuss with the guys the plan for the day. Before this I have already fed the chicken and ducks. They are quite happy when they see me coming with the food in my hand, and we are happy to get the eggs from them. They have a nice, relaxed life here too: running around in the garden, jumping from bush to bush...

After feeding the chicken I water the garden which takes 1,5-2 hours. After the breakfast everyone does his own thing, I start to prepare lunch and/or we decorate the festival location, build new stages, clean up the road etc.

Evi at Döröske-Photo Copyright Juli Sábli

At my previous place at Juli we woke up early and worked from 6:30 or 7 until 9-10-11 depending on how strong the sun was shining. We were gardening, pulling weeds in the garden, watering, preparing some food. We usually spent our free time together, did something creative, went swimming, biking, sang at the bonfire, went to buy some milk, checked out the wine yards of the local people and so on. The village life is not boring at all, there is always something to do! For the bad weather it is good to have some indoor hobbies to hit the time though.

5, What are the new things you learned so far?

I remembered some old forgotten basics like what to feed the chickens with, or that you should not water the plants when there is too much sun, because they get burnt. I learned about composting, some things about perennial gardening, mulching, the local herbs and mushrooms, preservation, and other kitchen ticks.

I tried to pick farms which are themselves at the beginners stage and are still experimenting themselves about how to grow the vegetables and care about the „easy to care about”-sort of animals. Later I would like to learn about livestock, horses, bees, cheese-making and this sort of more complicated processes.

6, What is your next destination?

I will make a short break in volunteering now, because an other adventure is calling me. I will travel to Spain to finish the El Camino, because I had to leave it unfinished the last time because of a surgery. I would like to get on the Primitive Route to Santiago de Compostela, and from there to Finistere to the so called „end of the world“ where the ocean starts. After this I will come back to Slovenia, because my former hosts and their girlfriends are organizing an exciting event. It is called Nature Event, because it is an event for nature-lovers with art (land art), yoga, sewing, improvisational theater and other interesting workshops. There will be also bonfires and nice music, so I really want to join it. After that I might go to Italy, but lets see how it works out at the end.

7, Based on your experience so far do you recommend for your readers to start a journey like yours with a pet?

Absolutely! So far wherever we went they wanted to keep Perec my dog (I am jealous that they did not even think about keeping me...:)). Of course I am not going to leave him there, but I think my life at the moment is just perfect for him. At first it is not so easy for a city dog to get used to this freedom, but he got used to this new way of living. He is guarding the houses, getting used to the new people around, is playing with everyone, there is always someone around him. It is easy to travel with him and there was only one farm where he was rejected from, because there was already 3 dogs at the farm. The most common questions what they ask are: Is he chasing chicken? Where is he sleeping? How much is he eating? Usually easygoing folks like animals, so I had positive experiences so far.

8, What are the conclusions of your trip so far?
If you are thinking about any change, or adventure and these thoughts keep on going on in your brain and hearth, you should listen to the crazy voices and follow them! Simple solutions are the best ones, this is what I have learned lately. People are capable for everything they want: you can learn in two days to play the flute, travel many hundreds of kilometers. It is not always money or the solutions what we would reach for naturally which really work. You should learn to lower your expectations and not see yourself as the most important person in the world. You should go to the nature, exercise, get to know new people, eat well and live happy! 

Eva relaxed and beautiful at Döröske-Copyright Juli Sábli
9, Was there any feeling/something what you became aware of missing because of starting this adventure now?

I start to discover it slowly what I really long for. I would like to produce many kind of vegetables and fruits for myself, my family and give the surplus to the neighbors and to my friends. Keep animals for the milk and their meat, use herbs and make natural cosmetics. Use my creativity through building something, making my environment nicer, making music, dancing, discovering the nature, getting to know the surroundings where I live, discover the nice places and the people living there.

I would like to unite my new dreams with my previous life. I will let this thought, or feeling grow in me until it becomes a whole concept.
Deliberation, instinctive actions, constant change, connection to myself and the people around, to the essence of the living and non-living beings around me. Real, true attention towards everything. Being fierce to create, desire, knowledge, open-mindedness.
It is nice that I came to a point that I can already give name to all these things!

(If you missed the first interview and my review on it check it out at :

in Hungarian 

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