From Psytrance Festivals to Spiritual Farming – How a bunch of hippies became Goji berry farmers
By Kai Teo
For the past two months, I’ve been living on an ecological Goji farm in Andalucia, Spain, learning the ways of biodynamic farming and living, far away from the hustle and bustle of the city life I’ve been so used to.
I speaks really good Spanish.
I vividly remember the first day I arrived here. It was my first time in Spain, and the only Spanish I could mumble was “Una cerveza, por favor.” So that was all I bought for the first hours after I landed at Seville airport. My friends, JJ and Cynthia, had invited me to come live on their ecovillage and experience their little hippie revolution, and as a city boy who can’t even keep a plant alive for more than a few weeks, the idea of me being utterly useless on the field somehow sounded exhilarating for me.
I caught the bus from Seville’s bus station just minutes before it departed, after frantically screaming, “Almonte, Almonte!” while running around like a lost tourist searching for someone that spoke English. As I took my seat in the bus, everyone was kinda staring at this weird Asian dude, wondering what the fuck I was going to do in their sleepy little town. “Maybe he’s coming to open another Chinese restaurant? Maybe he’s here to buy land, no, he looks too poor to buy land, his clothes have holes in them. But he probably took the wrong bus.”
After an hour cruising through cactus fields, huge farms, and thousands of signs that I don’t understand, the bus pulled over at a small, dusty station that looked like something straight out from a cowboy movie. I knew for sure that no other Singaporean has ever ventured here, and I felt like a cool adventurer who’s once again taken the first step on the road less travelled.
Ah, a small cosy pub. I slumped down into the plastic chair and proudly showed off my Spanish skills, “Una cerveza, for favor.” Boom! A small glass of local beer. I am such a cool traveller. Before I could get drunk, JJ and Cynthia arrived to pick me up and off we went – farmer life, I am ready!
I first met this beautiful couple in Goa, India, and since then, we’ve survived a few Psytrance festivals together. Their living embodiments of love, and whatever they’ve been doing, I’ve somehow always known that it’ll be a powerful statement to the world.
Welcome to the Wild Wild West
As we caught up on the last time we met, horse carriages, more cactuses, more horses, zipped pass the window. We made a turn off the main road and drove along a dusty dirt road for another five minutes. If I die here, no one will know. Fuck yes, adventure.
Then, I was presented to the 2,500 Goji shrubs they have planted last year, their babies. As the sun shone down on the rows of Gojis, and their humble vegetable garden, I felt a deep sense of connection with the ground. This is it – the answer to living sustainably in our modern world.
The thing is, they’re not just farmers, they’re spiritual cultivators. By using biodynamic principles in their way of life, they check the moon cycles before doing anything with their plants, they use only organic compounds, fertilisers, and pesticides for everything on and off the field. And even they way they prepare these compounds is based strictly on age-old principles of stirring a giant pot of witchy potion for one hour by hand, while constantly sending good intentions and prayers into it. There’re no giant machines, no weird chemicals – 100% hippie style. They’re trying their best not to buy anything from the supermarket, but hey, until the day they start producing their own chocolate, not everything can be cultivated from their own land. At least for now.
From dancers to farmers
You see, as explorers of consciousness and learners in spirituality, we’ve always felt that we hippies could do more to heal the world than to just put up motivational quotes on Instagram. Some of us become yoga teachers, others experiment with crystals and astrology, you know, we try in our own little ways.
We all know that the way today’s humans live our lives isn’t gonna be sustainable for many years more. Industrial farming, fossil mining, unconscious consumption, yea, all that bullshit. We all have our concerns, so we try to buy ecological produce, walk in demonstrations for animal rights, and share videos about environmental conservation. But few of us are willing to give up the comfort and convenience of living in the city, nor do we have the money to buy a piece of land and start living off-grid.
We all know that humanity would be better off if we all lived in ecovillages and traded with one another. But we don’t have the knowledge, nor the resources, to move out of the cities. So when Global Tribe opened its doors to me, I knew that this was my calling.
It’s been two months since I first stepped foot on the farm, to be honest, I haven’t worked on the field for more than half an hour. Well, I mean, my role here was to help them with their branding, creating their website, and boosting their social media presence. We understood that if we were starting a revolution in sustainable living, we need to spread the word and inspire others to either come join us, or start their own ecovillages.
During the harvest months of July to October, Global Tribe accepts loving beings to join them as farmers, builders, artists, chefs, or even workshop teachers. And I know I’m definitely gonna be here again next year to see if this could also become my permanent home. The revolution is calling, now let us answer. So, what are you waiting for?