RANCHO MARGOT – Costa Rica
In 2014, during our trip to Costa Rica, we visited this amazing Permaculture Farm where we found many inspiring ideas for our own project too. Rancho Margot is surrounded by the rainforest, where Nature itself is spectacular and enchanting.
SWASTI eco cottage
The Swasti “Eco Cottages & Restaurant” is a sustainable eco-lodge located in Ubud, in the island of Bali.
The owners are French and their interest in ecology ranges in different fields:
– Employ of local materials: all furniture and manufactured items in the buildings are made of local materials, especially bamboo employed for the construction of bungalows, beds, wardrobes, desks, shelves, napkin holders, spice holders, straws, etc.
GREEN SCHOOL in Bali
During our trip to Bali we visited this amazing school immersed in the jungle near Ubud, close to the river Ayung and to many paddy fields.
The sound of a gong announces the beginning of the lessons which take place in bamboo pavilions with no walls.
Desks, chairs and whiteboards are made of bamboo and all around it’s just jungle!
When we travelled to Costa Rica we went toward the Pacific coast looking for Pachamama, a place for growing your self-awareness and experiencing a more spiritual lifestyle.
Pachamama was founded in 1999 by Tyohar and his travel friends with a deep passion for truth, meditation, silence and transformation.
Staying at Pachamama inspires personal spiritual exploration and living in harmony with mother Earth and all its elements. Since its establishment Pachamama has become a point of reference for people all around the world, creating a field of energy which is colourful and simply unique. It’s the ideal place for immersing yourself in a spiritual journey of transformation and physical rejuvenation while being in contact with nature and your inner soul.
Pachamama has been designed for challenging and embracing yourself. Here you can experience life completely, the energy of being together and the silent when staying alone. It’s a true temple of transformation.
It wasn’t thought to become an ecovillage, but the desire for a healthier, natural and simple lifestyle has always been there. The adventure officially started in 2013 and the ecologic vision of Pachamama tries to embrace permaculture, cultivation of local organic products and living in a sustainable way.
PER – Park for Renewable Energy
PER is the result of a couple’s desire to put into practice the huge amount of theories that they had been studying over years and to realise a common dream. So together Alessandro and Chiara found a beautiful farmhouse in the Umbrian countryside, some friends who followed them and the willing to start a new life.
“The challenge was to start again the cultivation in the fields and solve the problems of water shortage.”
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.
EARTHSHIP: self-sufficient living at La Fattoria dell’Autosufficienza – Italy
Beside being the primary element for farming activities, synergistic vegetable gardens, animals and the Farm’s life in general, the earth is also used as an element for constructing particular natural buildings and architectural structures.
Biointensive gardening at La Fattoria dell’Autosufficienza
Since 2016 at La Fattoria dell’Autosufficienza we have cultivated vegetables for the agritourism, direct sales and the Macrolibrarsi Store in Cesena, by following the principles of biointensive gardening. Biointensive gardening is a method for cultivating organically (it actually goes beyond the standard definition of organic) and, as the word suggests, it’s also “intensive”, because it reproduces the diversity and density of virgin forests. It’s also referred to as “market garden”.
We use no artificial fertilizer and the only treatment for parasites is prevention. By increasing biodiversity and soil quality, we invite beneficial microorganisms to thrive and take control over our soil, which, as a result, will create a dynamic harmony with plants. Healthy plants on a healthy soil and in a healthy environment simply don’t get sick.
Permaculture: where are we in Italy
By Elena Parmiggiani
Many are the small and big organisations that apply and communicate this method and the values that it shares.
Several months have passed since my latest interview to Massimo Candela (October 2014), president of the Italian Academy of Permaculture (Accademia Italiana di Permacultura), in which we discussed the most interesting organizations in Italy. Let’s see how the situation has evolved.
There at least 3 associations at national level that deal with permaculture:
- The Italian Academy of Permaculture (permacultura.it), established thanks to the British Permaculture Academy founded by Andy Lagford (now co-founder of Gaia University) and Richard Wade, who assists and organises the Italian course and sets up networks at national and international level among students, apprentices and graduated people;
- The Italian Institute of Permaculture (Istituto Italiano di Permacultura) founded by Pietro Zucchetti, that organises permaculture courses;
- The World Permaculture Association, promoted by Giuseppe Tallarico and established through the direct cooperation with the Australian Permaculture Research Institute. It offers courses with international professionals such as Rhamis Kent (PRI AU), John D. Liu (Chinese documentarian) and its aim is promoting and spreading food production by following permaculture principles.