Croatian Photographer Mario Romulic Makes Case for Self-Sufficiency

Lauren Simmonds

Mario Romulic is known as an extremely talented photographer, but that isn’t all he does. This artistic eye is also a well known farmer, and he has made a strong case in the face of the coronavirus pandemic for us all to start to try to become more self-sufficient and less reliant on others.

”Produce healthy food for yourself, don’t depend on others! Now you can see how important it is to cultivate a piece of land – you’ll feel far safer and healthier. Who knows what awaits us, perhaps what’s happening is just a warning,” says famed photographer and increasingly famous farmer, Mario Romulic.

As Agroklub writes on the Mario Romulic is a professional photographer in the field of video and photo production, and he also has his own OPG to which he is increasingly devoted. “I enjoy farming and hope it manages to become my main source of income soon. Currently, it’s still mostly coming as a cost to me because it requires constant investment. We produce mostly vegetables, and the motive from the beginning was for my family to live healthily,” says Mario Romulic, who processes a surplus of produce to share with friends, and to make some money off his production.

The decision to focus on healthy food production is prophetic at the moment…

I’d be the happiest guy if goods were traded, but under the condition that everyone produces healthy foods. “Commodity exchange makes sense if everything is produced the same way, in this case, in a high quality way. We’re based on an organic agriculture, everything is organic and we produce things according to permaculture principles,” he describes, adding that this year, he wanted to start cultivating on the principle of biodynamics. He had arranged a visit from Hrvoje Novosel, a biodynamic practitioner, but the current situation with the coronavirus pandemic has of course thrown a spanner in the works.

“The decision to focus on healthy food production is prophetic at the moment. Our plan is to achieve self-sufficiency. We have our own eggs, and soon we’ll have fish in the pond so that we have no concern for the future. I’d love for other people to start thinking that way,” Mario Romulic says as he looks at the plants around him.

“It’s all usable, look at this dandelion – it can be used in many ways, from frying it, through syrups to honey. There are no weeds, every herb is useful. We make tea from nettles, not to mention how much we use it for fertiliser. Most people consider a weed to just be a weed, but I don’t, I even grow weeds! Without using it otherwise, I can always compost it so it will serve as food for other plants,” he explains.

I want everyone to get through this difficult time as easily as possible, says Romulic.

Photography is the love of Mario’s life. Thanks to his talent with a camera, he travelled all over the world, but then he decided to settle down and put down roots in Baranja, more precisely in Bilje, and create his own little paradise there.

“I’m sorry for the people living in apartments who are now in a very awkward situation. I hope everyone gets through this difficult time as easily as possible, the recent earthquake made it even more difficult for people in Zagreb and its surroundings. To me personally, the situation with coronavirus was almost welcome because otherwise I’d be running around the coast now and taking photos. At the moment, I have a lot of time for myself without any plans, and for the production of food for the family, as well as for others. We have four hectares, which is more than enough for us, so that I can help others out too if necessary,” notes Mario, who collects waste plant material as well as domestic animal excrement from a neighbouring farm.

What would you tell people in these difficult times?

“If you have the opportunity, go out into nature, pick some wild plants, prepare your organism – purify yourself! There are plenty of onions , it is not hard to recognize, the nettle is a miraculous plant and excellent against this vicious virus. If you can, certainly grow something for yourself. These recommendations are currently harder to implement, perhaps impossible for many, but it’s certainly time for people to understand the importance of such a lifestyle, and understand the significance of living in harmony with nature.

Nature gives us everything we need, it’s just up to us to take what it provides, but with a deep level of respect. Because it will give us back what it has tenfold depending on the way we treat it,” he points out, and reminds us of the warnings to keep our distance from each other. Usually in nature there will be enough space for everyone, but we need to stick to the prescribed distance.

“Produce healthy food for yourself, don’t be dependent on others! Now, it’s important to try to cultivate a piece of land – you’ll feel far safer and you’ll be healthier. Who knows what is waiting for us around the corner, maybe this is just a warning,” Mario Romulic warns.

For more on Croatian OPGs, products and companies, follow Made in Croatia. For rolling updates and information on coronavirus in Croatia in English, make sure to stay up to date with our dedicated section.


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