How was my stay at Alella Green Tech? Marvin Rieger from Germany
Hey curious readers!
My name is Marvin Rieger and I am a student from Germany. I study sustainable engineering which is a mix of electrical and mechanical engineering with the focus on renewable energies. As part of my studies I had to complete a practical term for 20 weeks. I knew from the beginning that I wanted to go abroad again. After some research I found Alella Green Tech and the founder Martin Picard. We had a chat and the place as well as the ideas coming with it convinced me to go to Spain and spent nearly 5 months with Martin on his farm.
I arrived at the end of September 2022 and I used the first few days to have a look around the property and to talk a lot with Martin who shared his ideas and plans with me. A lot of work is already done, but the farm as a project is far from being finished. My main project was the Farmbot which is an automated gardening robot taking care of a nearly 16 m2 big raised bed.
Besides the Farmbot I helped with small farm tasks like watering plants or moving and feeding the sheep. Normally I would feed the sheep and water some plants in the morning before concentrating on the Farmbot. At midday we would eat lunch all together. The techlounge with the BBQ and pizza oven were used often to make fresh and super tasty meals!
Moreover, I never got bored, because there were always some little tasks or ideas I could work on or help with. These tasks ranged from fixing fibre optic cables and well pumps, improving the volunteer living area to creating small classes for visiting people. After some time spent with the Farmbot I also started to learn more about the internet of things (IoT). Martin certainly loves his smart sensors, cameras and microcontrollers all over the place. With different people working on all sorts of projects there are always very interesting topics to discuss or learn about. The atmosphere is super friendly and there is always time for a joke.
As soon as the Farmbot started working (which took a while…) Martin and I came up with some events for interested people to come to the farm and learn more about the robot as well as Alella Green Tech. It was a really useful experience to work with school classes from different countries and people from all over the world.
My whole time at AGT did not only consist of working. Barcelona is only a 30 min bus drive away and the surroundings of Alella offer a lot of opportunities to go for hikes or to visit the beach. Martin also took me on his sailboat and I had my first ever emergency at sea. It does sound worse than it was! We also visited the ISE and the IoT world congress in Barcelona.
All in all, my experience at Alella Green Tech was a very educational one. I learned a lot about different topics. I met great people and I enjoyed my time in Spain to the fullest. The peace and quietness on the farm is very relaxing and Martin´s open mindset gives room for all sorts of ideas and improvements on the property. In addition, I could use my knowledge from university and put it into real life projects which gave me a better understanding of what I want to do and in which field I want to work after finishing my studies.
I will visit Alella Green Tech again for sure! It is a great feeling to be a part of AGT and the development in Alella!
Thank you for having me and see you soon!
- Marvin Rieger