More and more Maltese people are feeling disconnected from the natural environment – and it’s beginning to show.
When a 22-year old Maltese university graduate said he wanted to become a full-time farmer, many were shocked and surprised. But this just goes to show how far removed we’ve become from our rural, agrarian roots here in Malta.
That’s why we’ve come up with a simple list to help anyone who might be interested in including more farming in their lives. Whether you want to be out in the fields, in your own house, or at the markets, here is how you can become an amateur farmer in Malta and get more greenery in your life.
1. Get some farmer friends
The first thing you’ll want to do is connect with other like-minded individuals, especially if you have no prior experience. You should start by joining some popular Maltese gardening groups.
Green Patches is a great English-speaking group for Maltese gardeners, and Dilettanti tal-Agrikoltura, sigar u pjanti is a massive Maltese farmers and gardeners group. Spend some hours scrolling through these groups and get up to date with what’s happening in Malta’s farming scene.
2. Grow ten trees
If you don’t know where to start, there’s a simple and straightforward initiative to get you on your way to becoming the next Green Giant. The ‘Grow 10 Trees‘ project is exactly what it says on the tin.
Anyone who partakes in the project in encouraged to plant, nurture, and grow ten trees around Malta. You can grow them anywhere, from a field to your garden to a corner of your balcony.
Not only does this help in forestation efforts, its also a perfect intro to actual farming – if you can take care of a tree, you can probably take care of crops as well.
3. Do some urban gardening
Once you’ve got to know some Maltese farmers, caught to the season and planted your own trees, you can start doing some urban gardening.
Start growing some smaller plants around the house – maybe some basil or tomato plants so you can have some fresh produce in your cooking – and start utilising space like a farmer would.
4. Get involved in some cool initiatives
Once you’ve sorted out some trees and your own home, turn to some local groups and get involved in some of the great initiatives they are doing.
Speak to Friends of the Earth if you want to get involved in sustainable honey from bees; speak to The Veg Box and LifeMedGreenRoof if you are interested in innovative ways of creating long term and sustainable gardens.
5. Go to the farmer’s markets
There’s no easier way figuring out what Maltese farmers are up to than visiting them at their stalls. Find out about seasonal fruit and vegetables, or speak to them about what they are excited for or worried about.
And if you are looking to work a field for crops, a farmer’s market is where you are certain to find a farmer who needs help. With less and less farmers available, you will be popular in no time.
6. Most of all, keep growing
Make sure your trees are healthy, and start incorporating the fruit and vegetables you grow yourself into your meals. Buy less from the supermarkets, and buy more direct from the farmers.
Never stop learning, and never stop growing.