Here you can learn more about us and about our finca. We also give you a brief insight into our values and our vision.
Joanna and Martin
We both grew up in the countryside. Joanna’s parents ran a farm in Poland. Martin’s mother kept various animals, so he gained a lot of experience with them during his childhood.
In adulthood, we both took different paths. Martin learned at Siemens and now spent his time in the office programming software. Joanna spent a lot of time with her studies, started some and eventually graduated in media science.
During this time we met in Cologne, where we lived for some time. Disillusioned with the IT industry and city life, we soon longed to get back to the life of our childhood, to spend more time in nature and to get our hands dirty again.
And so, in 2016, we took a long trip to Uruguay, where we spent an extended period of time in a permaculture project. This inspired us to start our own project, which we did in Poland in 2017. Unfortunately, however, we quickly realized that Poland was not the right place for us.
For this reason, in 2018 we looked for a piece of property on the island of La Palma, where we have been running our own permaculture project ever since. Here we live together with our dog Stella, seven cats, a rooster and a changing number of volunteers and interns.
Our finca Serenity is located in the mountains above Tijarafe. The compound covers a range of 820 to 910 meters of altitude on two hectares. In addition to our homes, there are accommodations for visitors and volunteers, common areas and a large permaculture garden.
Serenity is a place where we grow and cook food from our own garden. Our garden covers many areas and is always growing fuller with plants and trees. Following the idea of permaculture, we close the cycles as much as possible. We optimize our ecological footprint and run the finca in harmony with nature.
Our main tasks:
- Restoration and renewal of the old finca and its infrastructure.
- Operation and development of a permaculture garden/food forest
- Running a vegan food truck to bring our idea about healthy food to the people
- We have many different activities for volunteers: from building and repairing to gardening of all kinds, social media and website maintenance, various tasks in and around the kitchen, as well as other ever-changing tasks.
Values & Vision
- Serenity stands for heavenly, vegan food. We try to use mostly produce from our own garden to be sure of the quality and origin of our food, but also to optimize our environmental footprint.
- Serenity is about learning and growing. Join us and learn how we build things with the resources of our environment. You’ll also learn how to run a permaculture garden that produces food in harmony with nature.
- Serenity is an experimental field. We believe in a just world beyond this capitalist reality. That’s why we are willing to be paid for our products and services in ways other than money, for example by you working for us or offering an appropriate barter item.
- Serenity is grounding and connectedness. On Serenity, we live a simple life in harmony with all living beings and in cooperation with nature. Participating in our project brings you back in touch with the earth, nature and yourself.
- Serenity is an open space. It is our home. Here we live, work, experiment, learn, heal and evolve without the influence of discrimination. We respect people of all backgrounds, religions, genders, sexual orientations and are responsive to individual needs. We create a space where everyone feels free to express and celebrate needs.
Permaculture is a philosophy of working with, rather than against nature; of protracted and thoughtful observation rather than protracted and thoughtless labour; of looking at plants and animals in all their functions, rather than treating any area as a single-product system.Bill Mollison
We run our garden according to the principles of permaculture. The term permaculture (short for “permanent (agri)culture”) was coined in the 1970s by Australians Bill Mollison and David Holmgren. Since then, permaculture has become increasingly popular with projects in every country in the world.
Principles of permaculture are:
- “Earth Care” – taking care of nature and the earth
- “People Care” – to take care of people
- “Fair Share” – to share consumer goods equitably
These three principles show that permaculture is about more than just agriculture. As a holistic system, permaculture principles and tenets should also be applied to social life and all other areas of life.
The goal of permaculture is to create and maintain an interconnected and multifunctional ecosystem modeled after nature. Existing resources are to be used efficiently and the consumption as well as the energy use are to be reduced as far as possible.
Permaculture represents a process with many different paths and puzzle pieces. Concrete examples are for example the creation of our food forest, different compost systems like our worm farm or our compost toilets, as well as the use of solar energy – not only for the production of electricity, but also for hot water and food preparation.
Please note that we are not a permaculture school, nor do we offer classes. Nevertheless, we are a good place to get an insight into permaculture processes and tools. If you are interested in permaculture, you can intern with us or volunteer for a few weeks. You are also welcome to adopt a tree and participate in the development of our garden in this way.