Short term European Solidarity Corps project on Finca Luna

August to September 2021 by Eliška

Who am I?

Hello, my name is Eliška and I came from the Czech Republic. Environmental sustainability is the overall goal of all my actions. I focus on projects addressing the causes of the climate and environmental crisis. During several years of studies and slow travel lifestyle, I have gained quite some knowledge and experience from the area of sustainability and the environment. I raise environmental, intercultural and social awareness and share information on a responsible approach to the environment. I disseminate information on and propose conceptual approaches in this area. Lectures on ecovillages, utilising non-formal education and volunteering are some of the tools I use.

Why did I came?

I decided to come to La Palma and join the Asociación Gaia Tasiri of the 8th Life Ecovillage La Palma project because it felt like the right opportunity to continue the shaping of my personality and professional skills. It is inspiring me and guiding me to make better choices and apply my skills where needed. Because my goal is to deploy my skills in such a way that I have the best possible impact in reshaping the relationship humans have with their natural habitat.

What I did during those 2 months?

  • I got to know the garden, the place, all the amazing plants and animals and humans and “how it goes aroundhere”. I started to feel at ease here.

  • Picking, collecting fruit, veggies (almonds, figs, tomatoes, plums, melon, peppers) and herbs (parsley, onion, mint). We took care about the garden – watering, pruning, fruit (pears, almonds, veggies) picking and processing (drying or freezing) fruits. Collecting dead or sick parts of plants (cactuses, tree branches). And many other small jobs around the garden. Also replanting and repairing the watering system took lots of time.
    • We did some planning and design and learning and preparation. Watering of the gardens become regular activity, understanding the difference between gardens and the “forestry” parts went well. Got the feeling the droplets watering is very low in some parts especially for growing vegetables. Chicken were trying to steal and eat a lot of the vegetable plants (their leaves). I replanted a squash and took care about the small plantation of Pak choi and Yukas. It is important to protect all the (small and green) plants from chicken now and maybe also the rats.
    • Almond campaign: collection by hitting the branches with a long light stick and using the huge nets. It helps greatly to collect big amounth.
  • We did some repairs of during gallofa: With logs of wood in width – they were covered with gasoline and linseed oil. And we glued them with a mix of: 2x bucket of soil, 2x bucket of clay, 1x bucket of sand and 1x bucket of straw. Supply straw as needed. Everything was trampled with water on a large plastic sheet by many foots while singing and having fun. This mixture was also used to form natural bricks – in a 3-brick form, which was always soaked with water, sprinkled with dark fine sand and filled with the mixture. And it was allowed to dry for 3 days in the shade in the outside air.
  • I gave a Sociocracy workshop and an Ecovillage presentation.

  • I started to think of the mapping project which can be a huge but very important and great part of my work here. I tested two different programmes but with big difficultes. Later I found that would be too great tack to manage within such a short time and lack of information / tools. So I started to work on a mapping project of Fortuna – with great help of Jan to messure all the spaces there.
  • We made Home-made soap: the cleaning one and the one for hands with many infusions and essencial oils.

  • During Gallofa at Dacil we cleaned half of the sheep house and moved it on a potato field and to the avocado orchard.

  • Basement cleaning, beehives moving, trash removing, hey collecting, hiding stuff against rain.

  • Hay collection on various terraces close to the baranco and bringing it into the shed in huge nets.

  • Common meals and a birthday party. Vulcano news and progress following and shooting.

 

What I wanted to improve at?

  • Accept the others and others ways more. To thrust the others to accept me as I am as well.

  • Permaculture knowledge, history and the story of the Finca Luna and the 8th Ecovillage.
  • History and the story of the Finca Luna and the 8th Ecovillage.

  • To experiment more with the home made soap and comsmetics in general.

  • I would ask more about the project we were visiting during the gallofa (supporting other projects). We did get many information on the work itself, but sometimes not regarding the people or the place and project itself. And I feel sorry now not to know anything about the place and who lives there, what are the topics, focuses and story of project, etc.

What I learned?

  • Understand the watering system and how to repare it. That to grow food is not that easy here. The water is indeed crucial here and now. For any plantation and production.
  • Detailed Permaculture principles. To be able to see them more in every aspect of the life.

  • The “close to natural” paint can look and work really well.

  • Amazing information connceted to community or local currencies. Heloisa is an amazing source of information. About her planned or ongoing projects. I gained a lot of inspiration from her.

  • We learned how to make the home made cleaning soap and hand soap – and also how to reuse the used kitchen oil which I liked a lot!

 

What went well?

  • We are very good in the communication and openness. And that we do not push ourselves or each other.

  • To get oriented in the edible forests and gardens and understand the watering system.

  • I did improve in taking care of myself, observing myself, hitch-hiking, wild-sleeping, Spanish.

  • Gardening showed good results, so we could be using some fruits and plants in our cooking and snacks (for example: lemonade out of our lemon and orange, mint tea, fig marmalade, spinach for lunch, etc.).
  • I did improve in taking care of myself, planning (my own free time) according to my needs.

  • Eco construction with a very effective and nice collective people.

  • Cooked great Czech meal for a community lunch.

What did I enjoy?

  • I really enjoy and appreciate the open and sincere communication.
  • I enjoy the knowledge sharing and planning and designing.

  • I enjoy the plants around me and all the beautiful nature. I enjoy taking care of plants and learning how they are able to grow here.

  • I enjoy to discover other people ways of thinking/working/living.

  • I enjoy to share my knowledge when it is wanted.

  • I enjoy taking care of plants and learning how they are able to grow here.

  • I enjoyed the board evening and the sharing circles a lot.

  • Taking photos and documenting.

  • I enjoy the boardgames

  • I enjoy to share my knowledge about the Czech ecovillage’s meeting and about the Universal Basic Income.

  • I enjoy to cook out of stuff which I did not buy or planned to have so it is a great challenge.

  • I enjoy that the cats are now here with us a lot.

  • Eco-construcion as it was a very new and potentially very useful knowledge.

  • I really enjoyed the rainbow and little bit of rain in September.

 

Gratitude time

  • I would like to thank to myself for allowing myself this experience.

  • To Numa for working on it so hard, to Kasia and Jan for being.

  • I would like to thank to the EU for this program.

  • I would like to thank for the spectacular nature, weather, stars, food and health.

  • I am so happy and grateful that vegan kitchen was easily possible and accepted well during the project.

  • And for the open and sincere communication of the whole experience.