Last weekend, we received the invitation to be the first team of volunteers to help with the OASIS project, in Lengyeltoti, a town 30 minutes away from Balaton Lake. With the intention of creating the most sustainable festival possible, called Manas Festival, the property was bought a few years ago, starting with the main area, which has an abandoned hotel, two artificial lakes (created between the two World Wars, designed to serve as a fishing place), a few buildings, including barns, a tennis court, and a few hectares of land.
Additionally, the rest of the plot was acquired. One of their main goals is to create a self-sufficient and possibly off grid permaculture community, living from the land. The whole property has dozens of structures that need restoration and rebuilding, as well as countless fields and crops in which they plan to create a food forest, with hundreds of different trees.
We had the possibility to have a zoom call with the permaculture expert that designed the main frame and planning of the land, and one of the things that fascinated me the most is that they intend to dig around 7km of swells in order to retain the water from the rain in order to maintain the enormous amount of hectares of trees, regenerating the whole area. However, the plans don’t end here! Although the things that I mentioned seem extensive and quite promising, they also intend to renovate one of the areas next to one of the lakes in order to host weddings, where the guests could sleep in the possibly renovated hotel.
Since they intend to use the space the best they can, one of the areas is designated to host students from different backgrounds in order to attend courses about agroecology and agroforestry, as well as being a space where people could take their Permaculture Design Course (PDC).
So, it is necessary in the future to have the capacity and the infrastructures, not only for the students and teachers to sleep but also to learn, cook and shower. It is a possibility that they will create several camping areas with the necessary facilities for the students but also for the participants of the festival.
OASIS's regeneration and permaculture inspired plans are just surprising and it was interesting to have a tour of the place as well as understanding what are the plans for the next years. It left me truly mesmerized , especially because i never had the opportunity to engage in a permaculture project so big and full of possibilities and opportunities. I am so glad we left our mark in the place, as the first volunteers and I really hope I can visit it again.