The staff and the early bird members were already in Fano on Thursday afternoon, to organise the annual gathering of WWOOF Italia. The high number of participants expected for the three-day event (including many WWOOFers, and many children to liven things up) was proof of the will and the pleasure of seeing each other again for the second consecutive year at the Villa Prelato premises. Once again the balance between the lightheartedness of the convivial moments and the dedication of the assembly phases would prove to be the right formula for leaving on Sunday with the feeling of having made significant contributions to the growth of the association.
Friday projects and activities
A time of presentation in an initial circle of members on Friday morning was an opportunity for everyone to freely relate news about their coordination activities in the area and problems and suggestions related to the WWOOF world.
Marcella’s presentation of the work done so far as part of the census and survey on the “Good Practices” project used by members was the first moment of feedback from one of the projects funded by WWOOF Italia. Proof that the association’s aspiration continues to be that of creating a community of people linked to the world of agroecology and sustainable living. Well beyond the original purpose that still remains, that of exchange between host and WWOOFer.
It is rewarding for everyone when the small seeds and contributions given by WWOOF grow to become important experiences of human and social inclusion and growth in agriculture, as Vito and Vincenzo Bardascino enthusiastically shared with us on Sunday morning regarding their project “il Forno di Vincenzo”(Vincenzo’s Bakery) in Eboli.
PARTICIPATION with Elenia and Marta
We went our separate ways last May with one word in mind, which was more of a goal, Participation. Marta and Elenia’s facilitation on Friday afternoon helped us to bring concrete meaning to the word: by evening, on the summary board,a number of shared goals were described. Creating more contact between members and improving outward communication, building a more direct and horizontal decision-making structure and pinpointing paths that would help host and wwoofer get to know each other even before the visits.
The gathering flew by in one morning
We are a substantially sound association (the budgets approved the next day during the assembly and the 2022 report nicely highlighted this), but the very growth in numbers demands that we find more people who have the interest and passion to take care of it, allowing a greater focus on the centrality of relationships and planning, including both innovation and tradition.
We learn together
There was no contrast in the room upstairs on the first floor. Fabio was teaching the centuries-old artisan technique of correctly putting wooden handles onto tools and Professor Taffetani, academic botanist, gave a slide show – a scientific excursus on the interaction between soil, water and plants. This is the theme that the working group, responsible for drawing up the programme, chose to give to this gathering. It is strongly connected with a number of projects submitted at the Gathering which WWOOF will support this year (the Seminasiepi project in the autumn in the Parma Apennines) and which it has already supported in the past (permacultural training coordinated by an association friendly to us, Armonie Animali).
Alternative Saturday night
After both wine and dinner ( compliments once again to the kitchen team for their dedication and expertise), and before the violins and mandolins drove those who still had energy to dance late into the night, the instruments and voice of the Claudia Bombardella trio evoked the knowledge of trees through theatrical and musical action.
Conscious shopping and going home with new relationships
On the sunny porch in the early spring heat, there was still time to swap products at a small producers’ market before parting of ways early Sunday afternoon. if what we took away are good memories and good intentions, it will be easier to keep them in mind while eating lupini from the Marche or friselle from Puglia…