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Grow Your Own On A Parnitha Ecofarm

What better way to spend a day than out in the country, growing your own vegetables? Next time you’re stuck for something to do on the weekend, with or without kids in tow, pay a visit to the EcoKtima farm on Mount Parnitha, north of Athens. EcoKtima has guesthouses, a herb garden, farm animals, a vineyard and horses that you can hire for a ride in the countryside. What makes it stand out from other ecotourism destinations, though, is the fact that you can rent a plot of land where you can plant your own organic vegetable patch.

EcoKtima is the brainchild of Maria Filippi, who describes herself as “a romantic, a daydreamer, an entrepreneur and a professional.” She came up with the idea of renting out allotments at EcoKtima about a year ago. It allows people to plant their own produce, according to specialist advice if required, and to watch the plot develop online at any time of the day or night. The plot is tended to by farmers at EcoKtima, and the crop can be harvested by the tenant or delivered to his or her door -- at a price, of course -- once a week by the farm staff.

“We submitted an application for funding in October through the European Union-backed National Strategic Reference Framework, but we decided to go ahead immediately, before we received approval, despite the worsening economic situation,” explained Filippi. “We took the risk because it is something we believe in.”

The allotments for lease at EcoKtima, at a cost of 50 euros a month, have an area of 50 square meters, which is ample for covering a household’s day-to-day needs in vegetables. It is taken care of by EcoKtima’s farmhands, and the only stipulation is that all of the methods used are organic. In the case that the allotment produces more of any crop than the tenant consumes, EcoKtima can arrange for exchanges to take place with other tenants.

EcoKtima is open weekdays from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., and on weekends it stays open longer. Other than the farm, it also has play areas for children, a chapel, guest rooms, a teaching area and a gift shop. It is located in the village of Skourton in the Dervenohoria area of Mount Parnitha.

For more details, call 22630.31412 or log on to www.ecoktima.com.

Author: Sandy Tsandaki
Wednesday, June 27, 2012