Breathe in. Breathe out. You close your eyes and hear a breeze gently rustling leaves in the trees above. Ducks are quacking in the distance and you hear the faint buzzing of bees. Breath in. Breathe out. You smell the fresh air, with hints of basil and parsley. The warm sun dances on your back as you and the rest of your Logos Hope team prepare to work, ready to get your hands into the cool earth, ready to taste the fruits of the labour that has gone before you. You feel a stirring deep within your soul, a sense that this place is different. That is Bašta Zeta.
Andrea and Jesse McCourtney, along with their four sons, have been working with and serving the local Montenegrin community for ten years. Initially focusing on caring for their ever-growing family, Andrea and Jesse continued to seek their true purpose in Montenegro. Andrea said, “I had to find something that I wanted to wake up and do every morning, something at home so I could be with my kids and something that enriched the life of my family.” It was through this journey that Andrea’s vision of Bašta Zeta was born. Bašta Zeta, complete with a variety of fruits and vegetables, organic growing practises and cuddly animals, is a haven for anyone wanting to care for their own soul through caring for creation.
Bašta Zeta offers gardening classes, where children are involved in growing the produce, harvesting and cooking with it in a real garden-to-table experience. Other harvested produce is donated to a local soup kitchen, and Andrea and Jesse are working on conservation efforts for the Zeta River. They are also planning and preparing for summer forest classes, where children can learn about nature in a cooler and sun-safe environment. Teams from Logos Hope partnered with the family to clear undergrowth and prepare part of the forest and garden for future educational classes.
Jesse said, “On opening day, we heard a Montenegrin woman say that there’s so much joy and peace here. It’s kind of something unique that people were driving to our garden from across the country to visit. There’s nothing like this in the whole of Montenegro where it’s educational, it’s outside and it’s for kids.” Breathe in. Breathe out. That is Bašta Zeta.