My name is Giacomo and I cultivate a land nearby Florence. I am 31 years old and I started my activities in this farm five years ago departing from a conventional situation. The soil was poor and dry because of violent intervention that has succeded over decades and desert was expanding very rapidly. From that point I decided to invert the way of relating to this habitat. Instead of posing myself against Nature and his richness of life I started to participate to natural regeneration of the soil. There is no particular method to apply, no recipe to guide Nature to return to her original richness. I just observe and help things happen. As a human, consciousness permits me to give to the land a wide support but I am not determinant. Things happen even without us, in thousands of years, if we stop touching earth, humus will come again with his life potential. I just participate with love to this process make it a little bit more fast.
I live with Claudia in an ancient stone house which is inserted in a small group of buildings. We really are in the countryside but city is very close, we could reach Ponte Vecchio in 45 minutes walking. This could seem an advantage and city addicted could find a perfect situation for a transition, as was for me some years ago. Now I feel too close to the city and I am directed far from it in the Appennino mountains. My transition has already started and will take some years of slow but very determined transformations. I decided to host workawayers to share my experience accumulated here in the last few years and I think that being close to the city could encourage many to detatch from it and try a simple way of living.
Help with Eco Projects
DIY and building projects
Creating/ Cooking family meals
Help around the house
The main benefit I can offer is the cultivation and expansion of a generalistic approach. In a world in which humans tends to be more and more specialistic, I think the moment arrive to come back to real human potential which is to be generalistic, being able to do everything in every situation. This could sound absurd if applied to the insane complexity of cities but in a simple life in contact with Nature, all come very easily. For example, a simple walk in the wood can turn in a very rich and wide experience; from woods I take food, I take material for constructing, I receive inspiration for expanding or curing myself and much more.
Every day multiple activities take place at the farm. In general my approach is not mechanical and every single work is conceived and carried out evaluating the variety of needs and resources available. Clock is the less important instrument I use and I much prefer base the work rhytm on willpower and positive attitude. It is better to work one hour a day with real passion than eight hours just because it is established in a contract. I am open to any input that will come from volunteers and activities will be decided day by day after a short briefing in the morning.
In spring the major part of activities is outside the house and consist mainly in gardening, constructing various types of structures and forest maintenance. In summer the temperature does not permit to do a lot and work is concentrated in the evening after 6 p.m. The main activities are irrigate gardens and trees and collecting vegetable and fruit. Autumn is the more dense season of the year because stock for winter should be made and gardens prepared for winter and next spring. During winter there is a lot of time to read and chill near the fire stove, weaving baskets and repairing clothes.
In every season, every day we will collect and prepare herbs and vegetable for our meals.
The activities you should expect are all related to a simple and selfsufficient way of living. A little bit of everything related to human life.
All the food that I produce in the farm is for self consumption. Nothing is being sold. My activity is supported by the owner of the land which provides material and pay me a little pocket money for caring her land.
We live at the ground level in an ancient stable that has completely restored and converted in a human habitation. There is a huge common room for day activities and two bedrooms, you will be accommodated in one of those which can host a maximum of two people at time. Bathroom is in common. Moreover there are three rooms for storing food, materials and tools.
Everyday we prepare our meals according to what we find. The typical meal consist in a whole cereal (wheat, spelt, rice, millet, barley, chestnut), a legume and fresh vegetables at will. We do not adhere to any food regime but, in fact, we eat meat and fish as a rarity.
We have no internet connection and no television even if (unfortunately) cell phones have a very good signal. Florence is reachable on foot in less than one hour or you can take a bus with only ten minutes walking. We have no fridge but use washing machine and a little bit of gas for cooking.
We have no pets and we are not comfortable to take any in the house.
As I said before I do not refer to clock. There is no difference between free time and activity time for me. I try to stay in the joy of doing everything from hard working to sleeping. I refer only to our needs. When I’m hungry I eat, when I am tired I lay down, when I am sleepy I sleep, when I want to cut wood I do it. This means that in every moment you could go for a walk wherever you want and take as much time as you need. I much prefer dense and passionate activities than long and extenuating works done just because have to be done. Obviously I will not feel comfortable if somebody come and use the house like a dormitory and spend every day visiting the city. I have nothing in contrary to visit the city but has to be clear that the main objective of your staying should be enter in contact with a natural rhytm.
Limited internet access
We have pets
We are smokers
Can host families
Maximum 4-5 hours a day, 5 days a week