Zsámbok Biokert – putting an end to exploitation of the environment and people

In Budapest there is a group of artists which is organizing workshop series about “Climate crisis and imaginations”. During October they organized farm visit to Zsámbok and invited people from different backgrounds to take a part of it. We as Szatyorbolt volunteers decided to attend this event and visit one of our main producers and see how bio farm looks like.

One sunny Thursday morning my fellow volunteer Tamara and I woke up at the scary hour of 7am and without our morning dose of caffeine we set out on a journey to Zsamboki Biokert which is located 55 km from Budapest.

Our host was Logan, an American living in Hungary, one of the farm workers, master of combining countryside and city life as he is not only working in Zsámbok but also teaches at CEU.  Thanks to him the presentation of the farm was so interesting that even two lazy volunteers who desire nothing but sleep could pay attention.

The main goal of the farm is to put an end to exploitation of the environment as well as people. One way to achieve this is bio working with simpler tools because you can see what the soil needs. They view the farm as an organism thus they care for it in such way. It’s needs diversity to stay protected from predators and environmental changes.

Walking around the place you can see smiling faces of different age groups working together. Everyone knows that strongly motivated teem is the way to success. Matthew, the farm owner, is trying to create suitable working atmosphere which means the employees can work at their own pace and use the knowledge which is passed from generation to generation. In the farm you can see foil houses which are used to prolong the season not only for the good of the workers who don’t lose their jobs during the winter but also for the customers because they can enjoy fresh veggies even during the cold months.

One of the team members is the horse Sári, which is the loveliest substitute of a tractor you can ever meet. Let’s not forget that she also has lower negative impact on the environment and her excrements are necessary for composting and fertilizing the soil in a natural way. Giving back what you are taking.

Zsámboki Biokert is a bridge between city and village. As they are making the city a more sustainable place to live in by selling their bio products there, which is quite challenging process for farmers.  As customers are not always willing to pay more than they are used to from supermarkets. Transportation and few regular selling places make everything harder. That’s why they created their own boxes system.

You can find their products at the Budapest organic market every week, what is not sold there moves to Szimpla kert market. If there are still some leftovers they donate them to organizations providing food for people in need. So they are completely waste free.

One of the oldest partners of Zsámboki Biokert is Szatyorbolt – a shop providing bio, local and seasonal food in the heart of Budapest. Which plays the role of a supplier between Zsámbok and customers. Every week you can order your wished products online or you can just visit the shop and buy some there.

If you want to learn more about the guys, or ways to support their sustainable farming check out their website that’s availible in both English and Hungarian. 


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