Friday, December 1, 2017


“Freeganism is good for your wallet but it is also an ecological and political act”.
Yana Volkova 

This is a sentence from our on-line magazine that we, the EVS volunteers in Kalamata issue twice per month and the effect of this article was so powerful for me that I decided to start a completely new stage in my life. For now I couldn’t practice a full-time freeganism, but even moving by little steps towards this way of living makes me happy and changes all my worldview!
After-market free food (the photo is taken from the better side of the fruits and veggies, which means that they are half or more damaged, but stil the other part is edible)

* the whole article about “How to be a freegan” you can read here:

Since my EVS experience in Kalamata started, I'm totally inspired for different ideas by the new people I’m meeting all the time. For example, this article from an Ukrainian volunteer that influenced me to start collecting “harvest” from the “after-market”. Or those people from the Mountaineering club of Kalamata ΟΡΕΙΒΑΤΙΚΟΣ ΣΥΛΛΟΓΟΣ ΚΑΛΑΜΑΤΑΣ, who are showing me different edible wild plants and vegs. Thereby every weekend I’m coming back from the mountains with some free food – gifts from Mother Nature, such as chestnuts, mushrooms, nettles, persimmons and my latest discovery – Χόρτα!

Last Sunday while we were hiking in Tetrazi mountain, I’ve noticed people were focused to look for some plant, that they were taking out of the soil. Of course they were talking in Greek so I couldn’t understand what they are collecting. My curiosity was growing until the point I felt like trying it. But then I realized that for me all the grassy plants between the rocks seem the same! Also, I didn’t have a knife and the root of this plant goes deeply in the soil. But everything went well when I found a knife-shaped stone and then a very nice lady showed me the original plant. I asked about the name but no one knew it in English, so we were using all the time the codename “Horta” (Χόρτα in greek). In a way it reminded me of rucola (rocket salad), but still it looked like a wild version of it.

I was curious to get back home and ask internet what “Horta” does mean. Meanwhile in the mountains, my Greek trekking partners were explaining me that this plant is considered as “super food” and the way of cooking is very simple – after boiling it in water, it’s just to add some lemon juice, salt and olive oil and that’s all! 
When I did my research in internet I was impressed by the results I found! (
Horta is not the name of the specific plant we were collecting, but it’s used like a collective name for all the Edible Wild Greens. And in Greece there are a lot! I guess our horta makes part of the so called dandelion greens.
This 30 million year-old plant is not only enjoyed by modern Greeks, but was highly valued by the ancient Greeks as well. I’m astonished by the variety of the health benefits of dandelion greens. They promote healthy digestion, they are a strong liver detoxifier, they contribute to strong bones and they can help improving skin and vision. And another impressive fact is that this “simple grass” saved many lives in Greece during difficult times of history, such as the occupation in World War II.  But we should keep in mind that gathering of wild grasses for eating needs experience and knowledge because some of them are poisonous and dangerous. For this reason, those who collect greens and do not have enough knowledge prefer to pick only one or two types of grasses, which they easily recognize.
If you are curious to track my transition from meat-lover to meat-avoider, veg-lover and plant-appreciater, and reccently to freegaism-practicer and about the reasons why this dieatry means more than just what you put in your month and body, go to the full article hereMy first steps in freeganism
Here I want to give you examples of some partly freegan and completely vegan meals that I reccently prepared. The used potatoes and vegs are collected after the market in Kalamata, greens are gathered in the forest and in the mountains.

pasta with vegs collected after the market

pita with nettles, collected in forest

Before I couldn’t imagine that a vegan or freegan meal could be so delicious! And now I enjoy it with big gratitude and acknowledgement!

Bon appétit!

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