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Free and Real

Written by on August 21, 2021

Free and Real

Hello Psylanders,
From a young age I was wondering if humans can escape the prison of the modern world and live in harmony with nature, without power structures, but at the same time stay organized and use eco-friendly technology. As a little kid, I was told that I was asking for an utopia. Disappointed by the lack of an example of this way of life, I started looking online for a community like this. After a big search, I realized that this kind of alternative community, exists four hundred meters next to my house in Agiokampos Northern Evia, Greece, where I live every summer! It is Free and Real and I think their dream is magnificent!

This sustainable eco-community, started its journey as an idea in 2008 in Athens, by organizing seminars and workshops, and projecting films and documentaries about self-sufficiency and sustainability. After two years, in 2010 Free and Real established their headquarters in Agios N. Evia, Greece, an ideal place to make this “utopia” real, and extended them in Agiokampos village and Telaithrion mountain near Agios. Staying devoted to their vision and feeling the need to share the idea of self-sufficiency, Free and Real became part of the global ecovillage network (GEN), and in 2018 an approved European Volunteer Service which can accept volunteers from Erasmus+ programs.

Self-sufficiency And Sustainability

Their main goal is to put into action the basic fields of self-sufficiency in health, farming, nutrition, building and energy, and spread the idea of “Freedom of Resources for Everyone, Everywhere & Respect, Equality, Awareness and Learning”. It is literally like leaving the modern world but taking knowledge and technology with you!

It is something much more than just living in the countryside. This community has an organized system for providing housing, food, health, energy, waste disposal, spiritual health and knowledge. They live in yurt houses, built with eco-resources, by their team in cooperation with volunteers. These constructions use nature’s tools to control thermal energy flow and create the perfect living environment for every season.  This provides low energy consumption, an idea that is essential for self-sustainability.

Food is vegetarian and produced using foraging and permaculture farming with cooperative crops, an eco-friendly philosophy that tries to copy the arrangements observed in natural flourishing ecosystems. Waste composting and recycling provides a solution for both fertilizing plants and controlling waste disposal and sewage. I personally feel that all this autonomous system of producing your own food and covering this necessity, creates a sense of instant cooperation with nature, and gives us the self-confidence to realize that we don’t need the modern world in order to survive, providing us freedom and mental health. Electricity and generally energy, is also important for independence, self-sufficiency, and acquiring-sharing information and knowledge through the internet, and these guys have made it available using eco-friendly methods such as photovoltaic panels. Free and Real’s installation seems to be a nice and complete example to be copied and spread around the world.

The Telairhrion Project

In 2010, after an anonymous donation, the community acquired a 12 acres field on Telaithrion mountain, near their headquarters in Agios, Evia. A place where they extended their project, which combines a magnificent view of dense mountains and sea. Telaithrion Project’s goal is to spread the knowledge the community constantly earns, through workshops and seminars about organic agriculture, sustainability, eco-building, health and nutrition, natural medicine and cosmetics, cooking, yoga, sound therapy and more.

It consists of a geodesic dome group, yurt sections, a small lake and a forest garden. The dome group is used as an area of catering, education, communication, music and art, sports and entertainment, and it  is made up of a big central two floor dome, and four smaller domes that are about to be built around it. Three yurt sections are constructed around the domes, used to host visitors and volunteers.

They consist of a big heated yurt and six small yurts around it. The lake also has its own purpose in the project. It is created to change the microclimate of the field and help irrigate the forest garden, consisting of a greenhouse, organic vegetable garden, a wooden house with dryer, and a toilet with waste disposal. All this creation and effort is presented every September through Spiral Knights Eco-Festival, organized on Telaithrion mountain, an event that helps the community spread its idea and create some income to provide raw materials and building tools that cannot yet be created from scratch by the community.

Global Eco-village Network (GEN) & Volunteering

Finally, Free and Real, as a part of the global eco-village network (GEN), and an approved European Volunteer Service, offer EVS volunteer programs in all European countries for young people (19 to 30 years old) from Greece, and also hosts volunteers from Europe and partner countries in their headquarters. People from Greece can get involved in numerous activities such as manual work, artistic or cultural programs, inter-cultural activities for social inclusion and eradication of racism and social exclusion, assistance for the disabled or the elderly, operation and management of youth centers in deprived areas, recreational activities and counseling services for the unemployed or people with social difficulties, participation in fighting environmental pollution projects, landscape beautification etc.

Volunteers from Europe can live in the community for 12 months (long term programs) or 2 months (short term programs), and take part in many tasks, activities, discussions, studies and collaborations on human and environmental sustainability. They can participate in seminars and acts about eco design tools, diet and home-based self-sufficiency, and spiritual and physical health such as Tai Chi, yoga and sound therapy. Volunteers also help the community set up the Spiral Knights Eco-Festival, by participating in the preparation, setting up and conduction of the festival. You can easily find more information about participating as a volunteer by visiting the link given below. 


Το conclude, I would like to share my realizations from this whole story with you. World may seem to be a violent place for affectionate and ethical souls, but sometimes, solutions are standing in front of our eyes. We just need to seek for it! World is not doomed to feed capitalism. Numerous self-sustainable communities like Free and Real exist and arise around the world, constantly spreading the idea of self-sufficiency, and harmony between humans, nature and animals, and they may exist in your country or even your little village waiting for you. They have taken over the responsibility to give the world a new course of action, and their efforts have already been acknowledged. 

My dear Psylanders, never forget to communicate! Seek, exchange and spread information, knowledge and emotions. Communication creates wisdom and gives us freedom, unity, solidarity and empathy, some essential values needed to create a better world and make these communities functionable. Spread love and knowledge and have in mind that not everyone has the chance to obtain the knowledge you may have. Try to forgive and make yourself someone’s chance to learn something new.

Written by Tasos Ath. (Tazz Xaleos)

Free and Real dome

Web Links

Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/FreeandReal/

Free & Real Main Page: http://www.freeandreal.org

Telaithrion Project Page: http://telaithrion.freeandreal.org

Erasmus+ Volunteer Programs Info: http://en.freeandreal.org/getinvolved/evs/

Spiral Knights Eco Fest Info: https://festivalsandretreats.com/2017/04/20/spiral-knights-eco-fest/

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