Premium location for committed goals
The base of the group is in the big village of Pirgos, in the eastern Messara plain, where the last eight years Melitakes grow seeds of traditional varieties of vegetables, fruits, legumes and wheats, without any use of chemicals, offering tasty, healthy food. As they like to say: “When we give our products to people, we prefer to wish them Good appetite, not Good luck!”
Not so long ago, the group has acquired a few more hectares in a beautiful location. From the western Messara you drive into a gentle hilly landscape, which is in front of the Asterousia mountains. Passing the Minoan excavations of Festos, you reach the tranquil village of Sivas and continue towards the small village of Listaros. Shortly before a jumbled dirt road goes left, after a few hundred meters you have reached the new site of Melitakes.
Here is the goal to cultivate vegetables, herbs and teas on the one hand, and to hold seminars and workshops on the other hand, as well as to provide accommodation for holidaymakers and / or temporary helpers. (Similar actions already take place at the village of Pirgos in cooperation with alternative travel agencies in Crete.) Half a dozen wooden buildings with a spherical roof (domes) are being built for this purpose, the construction of which is cleverly designed. Some of these are already covered with protective tarpaulins. Kitchen, sanitary facilities and sleeping accommodations are created in this way. On a gravel area, partly under sun tarpaulins, there are several benches and tables for discussions, educational work or the like, and of course the common meals.
Counter-proposal to conventional methods
Eight people belong to the smaller circle of Melitakes, four of which are almost constantly present and are dedicated to the further development and of course a biological organic agriculture. Striking here are the many small hills. In addition, there are several olive groves in the nearer area, because also the olive oil production is to secure the livelihood.
Melitakes is an explicit alternative to traditional agriculture on the island, which is usually strictly aligned with market and profit laws. This of course does not mean that the members of Melitakes are independent of solid income, because after all they want to live from this work. However, self-organization, respect for nature, healthy and nutritious nutrition and, of course, a common ground of everyday work and life are important to them. They also strongly believe in the sensitization of children in friendly to nature way of life and together with schools of Crete, they organize experiential projects for pupils at their gardens.
(Practical tutoring for pupils)
Community and solidarity first!
The biggest problem in Crete, says Isidoros Kampolis of Melitakes, is that most people think and act very egocentrically. However, many of the current issues can only be successfully addressed collectively. This in concrete individual projects, but also in the establishment of alternative life structures. As for the effectiveness of other methods of cultivation compared to the usual methods, Isidoros has spared long nerve-racking discussions about it. He more likes to present the results of his harvesting, which was achieved in a relatively small area. Not infrequently this causes dumb and incredulous amazement.
(Isidoros Kampolis and one of the domes)
Support for a successful future
Of course, this success also involves a lot of hard every day work. Some are still in their infancy, including the shipment of food such as legumes and olive oil, teas and herbs to the outskirts of Crete. Here, the members wish as a direct order primarily to avoid a financial loss of revenue through the dealer margins. Furthermore, they rely on interested and solidary contemporaries, for example, some hours in the morning for a small fee or volunteer to work (a hearty lunch is included of course), and then to make the rest of the day vacation. Likewise, international exchanges such as networking are welcome. This with private interested parties as well as other collectives and cooperatives. This also includes a deeper examination of permaculture, which is to be gradually implemented in practice.
MAZI would like to provide an intermediary support. However, we must point out explicitly that we are not allowed to pass on donations to cooperatives, since these are, in spite of the other form of organization, ultimately profit-oriented businesses. But we are happy to establish contact, promote exchange and cooperation or organize personal visits on site for groups. In terms of direct orders, we will install a procedure in the coming weeks and months, which will then allow a bundled transport here in our region. The ordered goods can then be picked up directly from all buyers. A stock here fails (at least for the time being) still on the too high requirements of the Health Service and other regulations.