Zentrepreneur – El Granjero

As mentioned in our first blog post one of our questions was whether we could earn a living as a Zentrepreneur. This (at least to us) sounds very interesting, however we can imagine that you might also think “@#$@# is a Zentrepreneur?”  Very good question and therefore I am going to try and explain it in this blog post.

Luckily last Thursday I experienced a working day that had, according to me, “Zentrepreneur” all over. Hope you like the story, but first let’s quickly give a definition of Zentrepreneur that Uncle Google found for us:

to find your purpose, and create profit.  What distinguishes the Zentrepreneur from the multitude of other entrepreneurs is that the principles of compassion and generosity are part of the equation.

Well last Thursday my day started at 6am after that our alarm clock (the hen and the goats) had awoken me. After having brewed a fresh cup of Spanish coffee I opened up my laptop and found out that I had some questions waiting for me from a translator living in the USA working on a Turkish website. How small can global be? Right after I had finalized my online activities it was time for breakfast, which I enjoyed on our balcony with Kim at around 8am. Kim asked me whether I was ready for a day of intense labor. I hear you thinking “Intense labor? Sitting behind your laptop in the sun doesn’t sound like intense…”

Well that’s right, however today I have sold my soul to El Jefe –  Don V.

Today I am going to help Don V, the father of our landlord who works everyday on the land of our Casa Bonita, together with his brother (Paco who also build this house) and his nephew (Sergio) to sow some vegetables.

We started with sowing garlic. As the grapes were harvested three months ago (currently about 500 liters of wine is being produced in our cellar and we have been invited to help and drink all of it next year :)), the ‘walking lanes’ between the wine ranks are idle and in order to be efficient you can temporarily use the walking lanes for another purpose. Therefore the first hour consisted of planting 600 small garlic cloves that will be ready to reap in about 4 months time.

After having finalized this the true challenge came for me. The democratic decision was made that I, being the youngest of the pack (Paco, Sergio and Ventura are between 50 – 70) could plow the ground with a small tractor. Or was the decision made as I am the city boy that wants to work the land while babbling a lot of nonsense in my perfect Spanish? Anyway, it was a great (and muscle toning) experience and I believe the guys were actually impressed by the perseverance I showed (or was it the fact that I was sweating like they had never seen before?).

After that we deserved a small meal (Merienda) that Sergio and Don V made for all of us: Bocadillos con atun y cebolla (sandwiches with tuna and onion) and a cerveza. As it was 5 to 11am the five was already in the clock so I accepted the cold beer without any hesitation!


After our break we digged some trenches in which we planted potatoes that will be ready early next year as well. In the other areas we (don V and I) will plant lettuce, mais and something I did not understand 🙂 next week.


To wrap up the story I will share my thoughts on why this is also an example of being a Zentrepreneur. Once again the definition:

to find your purpose, and create profit.  What distinguishes the Zentrepreneur from the multitude of other entrepreneurs is that the principles of compassion and generosity are part of the equation.


in our preparations Kim and I have fantasized over owning a finca (a rural house) with lots of ground where we would grow our own vegetables and fruits. Of course this sounds wonderful, however we know #@@# about farming / gardening (although our balcony of 7m2 in Amsterdam did look pretty good (thanks to Kim)). This opportunity where Don V (who grows his own food for over 50 years) likes to teach us the how to is great. Next to that I love the change of intellectual (sitting behind the computer) and physical labor!


Next to the lovely Merienda and free beers we now have earned the privilege to make use of the garden as if  it were our own. This implies that each morning we pick bananas and pick up fresh eggs for our banana/oat pancakes. Next to that we pick oranges for our orange juice and in the evenings we may grab a pumpkin, bell pepper or cut some herbs for our dinner.

Compassion / Generosity

Don V is already a friend to us. He and his wife (Doña C) are very friendly people and have received us with arms wide open. Next to that I respect Don V very much as he is a very strong and brave man. He has always taken care of his whole family (and worked his ass of for that) and he still does (e.g. working at least 20 hours weekly in the garden of his son’s house), this while he has got some serious health issues going on for over five years and I am afraid that this situation will only deteriorate. However you will not hear him complain or feel sorry for himself. He’s someone that is very compassionate and generous and I believe that is one of the reasons that it is very easy to give something back to him by helping him working on the land and talking to him about life.

I hope you have enjoyed this post! I certainly enjoyed that day as Zentrepreneur as well as writing about it just now as it brought back these nice memories once again!

6 reacties

  1. Bas op 18 oktober 2015 om 10:27 pm

    Loved the story and pictures!! And banana pancakes for breakfast sounds real nice as well!! Que lo pases bien!!

  2. Joost Belonje op 19 oktober 2015 om 9:51 am

    Klinkt goed- heel veel succes!

  3. Anoniem op 19 oktober 2015 om 10:25 am

    Heerlijk verhaal! En ik kijk uit naar die patatas bravas uit eigen tuin 😉

  4. Wiets op 19 oktober 2015 om 2:21 pm

    Ja heerlijk verhaal. Ben benieuwd naar het vervolg.

  5. rvdbro op 22 oktober 2015 om 9:37 am

    Klinkt goed allemaal en muchas zuerte 😉

  6. Bart & Rut op 31 oktober 2015 om 8:52 am

    Arbol de Navidad! Lekker hoor, goeie berichten – keep it up.
    Ook mooi om hier de brainpowerstorm in grote getale te vinden.
    El Reptilo / Rocket vanuit Budapest

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