We arrived in Vilnius, Lithuania on Sunday night and secured lodging at a hostel. Monday morning Andrew and I began our quest for Russian Visas – a process that took a day longer than planned at considerable more expense than we imagined. Because of the visa delay, we were forced to cancel our first appointments in Kaunas with the woman that made it happen for us in Lithuania, Edita Karbauskiene, ecologist (her title) and “Lithuania’s Angel of Organic Farming” (my title for her) for the Lithuanian Chamber of Agriculture.
However, we did get to see Vilnias by night. This included some beautiful old town architecture, a Frank Zappa memorial and the pseudo-independent Republic of Uzupis (a quaint neighborhood of artists, hippies and drunks). Uzupis has a great Constitution posted on a wall for everyone to see. It includes “Everyone is free to be free and everyone is free to not be free if they choose”. It seemed like beautiful tax-paying anarchism to me.
Over the course of the next two and a half days of meetings, we got an amazing survey of the organic and seed scene in Lithuania. What will follow is a brief summary of what we learned.