Guy living in nature without money

Are you sometimes upset by all the noises, lights and the pollution in the city you are living in? Do you also feel stressed by the permanent rush, that shapes life in bigger towns?

These questions were the starting point of Dimches journey back to the roots. Dimche is 41 years old and sees himself as an environmental activist. At some point of his life, he was so unhappy with the “normal” life he was living, that he felt the need to change something. And that change was to escape the city.

Now he is living since 5 years almost self-sufficient on a piece of land next to Veles. Me and two volunteers from Volunteering Center Skopje (VCS) went to visit him and asked him some questions about his lifestyle, his motivation and possible struggles he is facing. Dimche is showcasing a lifestyle, that is not harming the environment at all. Still, on his piece of land at a river shore he has everything he needs: a house, animals and a garden. And all that he achieved without money, just with his own hands.

The two houses are made from natural materials like clay, sand and wood but also, he is using a lot of things other people threw away. The question, if that isn’t too much work for a single guy he answered with a big grin and the words “it is healthy hard work, so I like it.” The natural buildings, that immediately reminded us on “The Hobbit” are also very well isolated, as we could feel when we visited him. The inside was around 24 degrees even though we had more than 35 degrees in the outside. And that completely without air conditioning!

Impressive was also, that Dimche gets 90% of his food from his own permaculture garden (Permaculture is a very effective way of doing agriculture with extremely low impact on the environment). Because he is vegan, he needs nothing more than the vegetable and fruits his garden is providing. Just in the winter he sometimes runs out of supplies, even though he already starts to store food in the summer. Starting to collect and dry old wood in the summer is also key, as Dimche is only heating with wood in the winter, which is polluting the air only very little if it is properly dried. Largely he gets by without money but if he really needs something that he can`t do himself like the solar panels that are producing the electricity for the property, he is running fund raising to finance them. That is possible because Dimche meanwhile has a small community, supporting what he is doing.

Before Dimche started his own project, he was living for more than 10 years in other communes, villages or in the wild to explore different ways of living and which one is the right for him. At some point he decided he wants to create his own ecovillage. That means he is constantly trying to motivate more people to live according to nature. He is giving workshops and seminars to introduce people in his way of living. His vision is to create a place of similar minded people, living close to each other but on their own piece of land, which is why he is right now searching for people to buy land close by. The fact, that everybody will have their own house and land, lowers the risk of conflicts. Still, there will be community space for joint activities and meetings. Dimche is dreaming of a peaceful place, where people help each other, share tasks and live in harmony with nature.

If Dimches project is successful he will be thefounder of the first eco community in Macedonia. According to his estimation people will still need time until they are ready for this lifestyle but he can see over the years how the interest is rising. In the beginning the locals were avoiding him, thinking that he is crazy but as they see how good his project is working, they are starting to get curios. Also, his family was skeptical about his lifestyle in the beginning and tried to pull him back, where they thought it is safe for him. Now they are embracing it because they see how happy he is.

The chat with Dimche inspired us a lot and made us think about what we really need in and from life. It is great to see somebody living such an example and showing that other ways of living are very much possible.

Till Britsch