We are a couple in our fifties who, in 2011, left our house and desk jobs in Athens and relocated in mountainous Evrytania, in central Greece. Here we built a small family farm aiming to live in a beautiful place, in close contact with mother nature and eat real, unadulterated food, grown mostly by us or, at least, locally.
Also, we try to minimize our ecological footprint by lowering consumption of non-renewable resources and reducing waste and to decouple as much as practicable from the money economy while investing in the economy of human relationships.
In achieving these goals we found the principles of permaculture a valuable and inspiring guide. We believe that permaculture is a solution to the multiple crises faced by humanity today as it presents a way to live a simple but comfortable life within nature’s limits while providing a secure future for our children.
Cooking / shopping
Help in the house
We are always pleased to meet new people, Greek or foreign, who either share our worldview or are willing to explore our way of life. We believe in sharing knowledge and skills, particularly those which are in risk of extinction due to the “progress” of technology.
On off days we can take our volunteers on short trips to places of interest in the area.
Our farm covers an area of approximately 3 acres and is arranged on sloping ground on which terraces have been built with stone walls. The design of the house and farm has been based on permaculture principles. The grounds include vegetable gardens, fields for cash crops, fruit trees and a small fish pond. There is also a greenhouse and a polytunnel.
We share our farm with our two dogs, our cat, about 40 chickens, 2 ducks and a few thousand bees.
Our produce is strictly organic although not certified as such. It is used mainly for our own consumption with any surplus sold to friends and visitors.
The buildings include the house, a guest house and a cellar/workshop, all built in stone.
The farm is off grid and our power supply is through photovoltaic panels.
We normally invite only one volunteer at a time unless it is a couple who wish to come together. We welcome volunteers any time between early April and late October, which is the busy season. We expect them to help with the everyday activities on the farm which vary according to the time of year. Typical tasks include feeding the chickens and ducks, moving the chicken pens, tending the garden, weeding and harvesting. Other seasonal activities include preparation of the garden beds, application of compost and manure, watering, fruit picking, preservation of produce, making soap and balms, cutting and stacking firewood.
We expect volunteers to contribute 5 hours per day, 5 days a week. Hours are up to the individual but, generally, the cool hours of the morning or evening are more pleasant to work in. During the hot hours of the day we usually rest or work indoors. We try to suit the job to the person, according to his/her age, strength and stamina. There is usually a variety of jobs to be done every day so that boredom is never an issue.
Volunteers are accommodated in a stone-built guest house or in a caravan if the guesthouse is not available.
The guest house is fitted with a fully equipped kitchenette, sitting/dining area and WC/shower downstairs and a bedroom upstairs.
The caravan is fitted with a fully equipped kitchenette, portable WC, double bed and a sitting/dining area. There is an outdoors shower with hot water and a composting toilet in a separate building.
Meals include a hearty breakfast and lunch as well as a midday snack. We usually do not have a cooked meal for dinner, however basic snacks like bread, cheese, yoghurt and fruit are available. The food comes mostly from our own produce. We rarely eat meat but we do use other animal products (milk, cheese, eggs).
Breakfast is eaten separately but we like to share lunch with our volunteers.
Our farm is located in Nostimo, a small village in the mountainous area of central Greece. It stands at 950 m altitude, surrounded by fir-covered mountains. A small river runs along the nearby valley with several year-round streams feeding into it.
The nearest town, 10 km away, is Karpenisi (population about 10,000). Karpenisi is 280 km from Athens with a twice-daily coach service which takes 4.5 hours (round-trip ticket cost: €44.00). There is no public transportation service between Karpenisi and Nostimo other than taxis (one-way fare: €15.00). Volunteers will be picked up from Karpenisi coach station on arrival and returned there on departure.
The weather in summer is generally sunny with warm – sometimes even hot – days and cool nights. Temperatures may range from 15 to 35oC within a single day.
The permanent population of our village is 13 people but may double during the summer. There is a small tavern/coffee shop but not much of a social life. However, there are ample opportunities for hikes in the nearby mountains and brave souls may also enjoy a dip in our pond.
Internet access is possible through public free Wi-Fi (outdoors only) or through mobile phone service providers, though only one offers good coverage.
Volunteers are expected to do their own housework in their quarters, respect our property and take care to avoid inflicting any damages to it. Before departure they should tidy up and clean their quarters. Smoking is not allowed indoors. Our farm being off-grid, it is essential that we are all careful with our power consumption.
Limited internet access
We have pets
We are smokers
Maximum 5 hours a day, 5 days a week