There is one thing that I really love about EVS: sharing experience. It naturally happens among volunteers all the time and helps us to cope with difficulties, answer questions or to inspire each other. But it is even more special to share experience by inviting others to an event or your own EVS project. A similar thing happened from June 15th to 17th, when two volunteers, together with their organisation, opened their doors and offered a workshop about permaculture that I was able to participate in.

   The event took place on a farm close to Smiltene which is owned by a Latvian-German family that cooperates with different kinds of volunteers, amongst others participants in EVS. They offer workshops in their own training centre, “Lejas Variceni”, which next to the private house, hay hotel, outdoor kitchen and garden allows them to host guests and share their knowledge. The workshop itself was developed by Mariam and Lucie, who are doing their EVS on this complex. They made a programme with a lot of different topics: We got to know the farm, learnt about the principles of permaculture and saw different examples how to apply them in all aspects of life. For example, we built the walls for a pig house out of clay and straw. Another important part was for every participant to share something with the group. We had an Intercultural evening with national foods of the volunteers’ home countries and learnt some Latvian dances. It was also possible to help take care of the numerous animals – goats, chicken, pigs, and donkeys – in the mornings. 

   I can only say, that this event with a big variety of topics left me with many new impressions. For instance, I find the way of the family to live on the farm and their principle of volunteering (exchange knowledge for help with work) very inspiring. The weekend also allowed me to get a concrete impression of what permaculture is, and was a big inspiration concerning how many things you can do yourself by following its principles. The visit at the farm was not only a learning opportunity, but also a way to come back to the nature. I felt so welcome and at home – I will definitely go there again!



PS: If you are interested in learning more about permaculture and the farm, feel free to visit the following websites:                (Facebook page of the farm)                                                  (Latvian permaculture organisation)                                      (principles of permaculture)