Making it differently in rural Galicia
Sharing skills and experience, circular economy rural life in Galicia.
I’ve asked my friend Pablo if he can help me clear out the overgrown vegetation on my land. He didn’t hesitate and joined me. I had gone to the land every week over the past few months to get my bearings, orientate and connect with the forest I now call mine. FincA never stops surprising.
Every time, there is something new to discover. On my last visit, I reached three huge granite blocks, squared cut and ready to be transported. I wonder how much these can be sold for?
The plan at this stage is to recreate the old pathways used by the quarry machines when the site was operational approximately 12 years ago. A tall order, almost as tall as the vegetation now covering the site. Some of which have grown tree tall. Nevertheless, Pablo was happy at the opportunity to work outdoors. He studies Forest Engineering and has a small parcel of land himself. Working alongside him provide me with the opportunity to observe skilful methods of cutting through the brush and learn Spanish and Galician names of different plants and animals.
Last year I had the pleasure of helping him build a small wooden treehouse in his back garden. An elevated small square box, with a gable, pitched roof. When asked, I offered some expert architectural advice on the aspect and orientation of the interior space.
On Monday, he asked me back again, this time to ‘scarify’ the lawn, remove dead patches, and moss and open the soil surface by raking. The cuttings were collected into a large composting area, he has been using over the years. The most interesting discovery happened when I turn the grass left in the heap the day before, and realised it was piping hot. The organic matter was decomposing so quickly, generating energy high enough to heat water to 60c. A living Biodigester. Perhaps more on that in another post.
Us helping each other, working together and learning new professional skills and vocabulary, got me thinking about the concept of the Sharing Economy. What does it mean today? How do we help connect more people like Pablo and me and the wider community? In the past, ‘helping’ your neighbours was a common aspect of life. You didn’t get a contractor to build your house. The whole village built it! and in return, you helped build your neighbours. The same goes for ploughing the field or collecting fruits from the orchard.
Is there an App for that? There are Apps claiming to support the Sharing and Circular Economy, helping connect unloved goods, clothes and products with new owners. Re-cycle and donate. Apps like eBay, Good On You and Feedie. Then there are Apps dealing with odd jobs (Paid) connecting freelancers and tradespersons with local or even international clients for all sorts of tasks, including anything from furniture assembly, TV mounting, yard work, ‘helping’ you to move house and more. Apps like eBay, Fiverr, Taskrabbit and Handy, to name but a few.
There is volunteer work. But is it really sharing?
There is WorkAway, https://www.workaway.info But that relays on gap year students and backpackers looking for a free place to stay while they travel in exchange for some labour. Great concept, however not very ‘local’.
I am talking about the old fashioned local exchange of skills, expertise and labour. I will give you some tips on renovating your house and you help me with my taxes.
Is it scalable?
Well, or Pues, as they say in Spanish! If you got this far, it means you read the whole post… and I Thank you.
If you like adventures and would like to discover ours, head over to our homepage for more!
Don’t do more, do better!
… and always keep on rockin
Founder | FincA Galicia – Outstanding stories, not just a vacation!