Half-way through my EVS in Asturias, Northern Spain, at Libelula Huerta (dragonfly market garden). It´s a community-supported agriculture project that grows vegetables for 22 families on the outskirts of Avilés, a small industrial port with about 80,000 inhabitants. Most of our work is in the garden, tending to the vegetables, harvesting and managing the soil. In the process we are learning all about agro-ecology (small scale, locally produced organics) and the need to re-skill a new generation in how to grow good nutritious food sustainably. We have also done a number of workshops with kids, sometimes in schools and sometimes in the garden - taking them round and showing them what a tomato plant looks, smells and feels like. I am also just about to embark upon giving a series of workshops on organic gardening, with the aim of creating a ´forest garden´in the centre of the city with a piece of land that the local council have granted us. Nervous doesnt even come close. I have no idea how it will turn out, nor if the trees will even survive the first winter!
I am here with another EVS volunteer from Italy, Arianna and another volunteer from England who has stuck around in Asturias and still helps out in the garden. Has been a great summer, with trips to the beach after work, hikes up into the stunning mountains to the south and long drawn out lunches (we always eat at the garden, cooking together after we finish at 1230). For the colder months I have just taken up a woodcarving course and have been to visit a baker in the mountains who has shown me all about artesanal breadmaking.
Would recommend highly this project. The values it promotes are focussed on a very practical aspect of social change: that of changing our diets and system of food production, and of becoming more politically aware of the implications of our choices and the way we organise society for what will become of our future.