As everybody seems to loathe Mondays, let’s talk about Sundays! Yesterday was a Sunday like they’re supposed to be: I got to do something I loved and got a lot of energy and new inspiration from. I helped somebody out, ate good and healthy food, walked in an astonishingly beautiful piece of nature, and I learned a lot – all in one day!
Lots of people around here are not originally from here, but have come here from other places; from other parts of Spain, or some (like us) even from abroad. Most of these people have a finca (piece of farmland) with a lot of work on, some are building or renovating a house, some are working on their life’s work… All of them came here to live a different kind of life, closer to nature and to who they really want to be – like us. It can be hard work though, and sometimes it’s good to have a community backing you up; so once a month we all come together – on the last Sunday of the month (only this one was moved to the first of the next month because of last week’s snow). It’s an initiative from the people at Kurkum Farm EcoVida (who are still the driving force behind the whole thing), but it’s getting beyond that now that more and more people are getting involved.
Each month, we go to somebody else’s finca. In the morning, we start with getting some real work done; that is usually some big thing the owner of the finca just couldn’t do (quickly) on his own – like giving the veggie garden a make-over, putting a roof on a barn, assemble a whole lot of stones to build something with, or (today) clearing an intricate irrigation system from the 13th century in a breathtaking gorge, so the orange and olive trees in the field would not need mechanical irrigation any more. Today (like last month) dozens of people showed up, which gives a whole new meaning to the saying “many hands make light work”… Ok, it was still hard work, but it went so fast!
Then there’s the lunch, to which everybody brings something (usually very nice) to eat. The food all gets placed on a big table and then there’s the vegetarian banquet… Before my first “Encuentra EcoVida” (that’s how the meetings are called) I had no idea vegan / vegetarian food could be so good and varied. (And to be honest, despite my wonderful old Vegetarian Cookbooks I recently got from a friend, I’m still struggling with it a bit… But getting better every week). Today, as we were working on an orange grove, we had buckets and buckets of oranges to make orange juice from – oh, if only the microclimate there extended all the way to here! Alas, it does freeze just a tiny bit too often on our finca.
After lunch, it’s time for the circle: we talk about what we need, and what we could do for each other – about an alternative economy, alternative power, alternative medicine, basically everything alternative. It is very inspiring to be part of a community that is growing stronger every month – and although my first circle was a real struggle (besides being a bit ill, I didn’t understand half of what was said) as my understanding of Spanish progresses, so is my enthusiasm about what is being built up here.
After the circle today, we got an extra treat; a guided tour through the orange and olive grove first (our host David gave us loads of useful information during that tour), followed by a bonus tour through his extensive vegetable garden. There was a lot of talk about soil – I love it when people who grow food are passionate about their soil! Learned lots of other things as well… By the end of the tour, the sun had gone behind the hills and the wind had become stronger, so we were very glad to find ourselves back in the car back home – cold but very satisfied after a full day out.
I can’t wait for the end of the month, and the next get-together – in La Portellada (closer to home) this time.