GREEN RENOVATION OF THE HISTORICAL BUILDING “CASELLE DI PAGANICO”
After almost three years spent reorganizing the fields, terracing, creating vegetable gardens, building dry walls, fences, a water supply system, laying underground electric and telephone cables and planting ancient fruit trees, in 2014 we finally started the first renovation works of the historical building “Caselle di Paganico” in line with the pillars of the whole project.
BUILDING SOLAR PANELS IS EASY!
From July 11th to 13th 2015 the Farm hosted a course on self-construction of solar panels. The expert Luigi Lisi taught participants the theory and practice for the construction of a solar panel by using recyclable materials and purchased solar cells. Luigi also provided examples on how to turn a house or another project self-sufficient in terms of energy production.
We took advantage of this happy occasion to ask Luigi few questions.
OUR PASTA: more than organic, from ancient and local grains
At the Self-Sufficiency Farm we only produce food which is good both for our health and the environment!
Ancient grains are grains varieties that are largely unchanged over the last several hundred years, that is to say that they have not been modified by man in order to increase their productivity. One of the most known example in Italy is the wheat variety “Senatore Cappelli”, but there are many others depending on the region of production. Other examples are: Saragolla, Tumminia, Einkorn wheat, Gentil Rosso, Verna, Rieti, etc.
TWO-ROW HULLESS BARLEY “LEONESSA”
Hulless or “naked” barley (Hordeum vulgare) is a form of domesticated barley with an easier-to-remove hull.
The early-ripening variety called “Leonessa” is organically cultivated at the Self-Sufficiency Farm. This type of barley was selected from a local population by geneticist Nazzareno Strampelli in 1936, then it has been revived by CERMIS (Center of research for the improvement of vegetable species) that dealt with the protection of Leonessa in the first years of the 80s.
A new style of ecotourism
At La Fattoria dell’Autosufficienza the experience of the surrounding nature goes along with the ecological building of the agritourism, for a 360° green holiday
The term ecotourism is thought to be coined by Mexican architect Hector Ceballos-Lascurain, author of several books on this topic. In 1988 he gave the following definition of ecotourism: «Ecotourism is that tourism that involves traveling to relatively undisturbed natural areas with the specific object of studying, admiring and enjoying the scenery and its wild plants and animals, as well as any existing cultural aspects (both past and present) found in these areas».
Interview to Francesco Rosso by Sepp Holzer
Sepp Holzer has become famous as the “rebel farmer”. He is a pioneer of the concept of permaculture and he has demonstrated a total commitment in this method of farming. He has a 40-year experience in alternative farming by trying out a lot of different techniques and for this reason he is now the most famous expert of permaculture in Europe.
Sepp Holzer carries out successful permaculture projects all over the world, both in small and big farms and regardless of the climatic conditions, from the desert to Siberia.
BARLEY: a true medical food
Barley has a good taste and it is good for our health. Even so, it is not so common, at least not in our country, where its consumption is not comparable to the one of pasta. However, it is worth to introduce it regularly in our daily diet because it is a very healthy food. Barley is one of the most ancient member of the grass family and its origins are in Western Asia. It is thought to be the result of several hybridisation processes of the wild plant known as “Horodeum spontaneum”. Nowadays barley is easy to find all over the world.
Happy degrowth and self-production: a desirable choice
by Lucia Cuffaro, vice president of the Italian Happy Degrowth Movement.
“Growth, development and social progress. Does the GDP measure everything?”, this was the title of one of the essays to be written during the 2016 Italian matriculation exam.
The Italian Ministry of Education, Universities and Research made a reference to the famous speech that senator Robert Kennedy held at Kansas University in 1968 in which he highlighted the unsuitability of using GDP as indicator of a state’s wealth:
“Too much and for too long, we seemed to have surrendered personal excellence and community values in the mere accumulation of material things. Our Gross National Product, now, is over $800 billion dollars a year, but that Gross National Product – if we judge the United States of America by that – that Gross National Product counts air pollution and cigarette advertising, and ambulances to clear our highways of carnage. It counts special locks for our doors and the jails for the people who break them. It counts the destruction of the redwood and the loss of our natural wonder in chaotic sprawl. It counts napalm and counts nuclear warheads and armored cars for the police to fight the riots in our cities. It counts Whitman’s rifle and Speck’s knife, and the television programs which glorify violence in order to sell toys to our children. Yet the gross national product does not allow for the health of our children, the quality of their education or the joy of their play. It does not include the beauty of our poetry or the strength of our marriages, the intelligence of our public debate or the integrity of our public officials. It measures neither our wit nor our courage, neither our wisdom nor our learning, neither our compassion nor our devotion to our country, it measures everything in short, except that which makes life worthwhile. And it can tell us everything about America except why we are proud that we are Americans.”
La Fattoria dell’Autosufficienza: a permaculture farm and agritourism in Italy
In 2009 we decided to purchase 68 hectares of land in the Apennines, on the edge of the National Park of the Casentino Forests. The land had been abandoned for more than 10 years because considered to be not attractive for modern agriculture. In the family we are all experts on books, but no one knew the agriculture world. Anyway we decided to project a farm that can be self-sufficient in terms of food and energy with the aim to make it become a model for a new sustainable world.
Sustainability is the key word
For starting and managing the Farm we decided to follow the permaculture approach, whose main purpose is designing and organising human instalments that can be sustainable in the long term. In order to achieve that, permaculture is inspired by Nature’s principles and natural systems that have been developing on the planet over thousands of years.