As the seasons change, our gardens at Archipelagos Institute have gradually transformed from summer to autumn and finally to winter gardens, remaining productive year-round. In the last 6 months our garden produced over 10 tons of vegetables and fruits, covering almost all of the nutritional needs of the research team with good quality organic produce. Apart from the gardens, the 80 or so fruit trees we planted last spring have already started to give us their first fruits.

Anything from the production that cannot be consumed fresh is instead processed (dried, made into jam, etc.) and thus easily usable for onboard consumption by our boat crews. All this work for cultivation, tending the gardens, processing, etc. is mainly done beyond the working hours of all of us on land and sea.

Our goal of consuming safe, high-quality produce and being self-sufficient are achievable for most others if they just have access to even a few square meters of fertile land, enough to provide a family with much of their nutritional needs. This is even more important nowadays, as vegetables are not only expensive but also of poor quality or even hazardous due to reckless usage of dangerous pesticides. Let’s not forget that we live in a country with a suitable climate for gardens, so all that is needed, aside from a small piece of land, is a little knowledge and plenty of care.