For the past few years, WWOOF Italy has placed the promotion of agriculture that is not only organic, but attentive to the overall harmonious development of agricultural activity within and in synergy with nature at the center of its planning.
The Seminasiepi course that will start in the fall goes in this direction, and it is a topic toward which the attention of many members converges: one of these is Tiziano Di Russo, a host in the province of Pescara who recently hosted the local meeting of Abruzzi and Molise members and who is making planting trees and shrubs his mission. To lend him a hand in supporting his project, Tiziano found on the way Treeonfy, an association founded by Andrea Piras to make a concrete contribution to the fight against climate change through fundfraising for tree planting. Help that could also be important for many other wwoof members interested in introducing agroforestry on their own land. Titian told us more about this collaboration.
How did you get to know Treeonfy?
I was put in touch with Andrea, the founder of Treeonfy, by a mutual friend, Carola Farci. She was the author of a particular feat last year (you can read more about it here.) and on the way back from her trip she stopped by my place and we got to know each other.
How does it work and what does the exchange with this platform consist of?
Treeonfy is a ‘nonprofit that runs “crowdfunding” (or collective funding) campaigns to support reforestation projects around the world, specifically third world countries. The event that took place in March at my place, Borghetto dei Lonfi, was the first reforestation project in Italy, and given the success I believe it will not be the last…
Why did you decide and is it important to you to plant trees and hedges?
When I discovered Permaculture four years ago, I was fascinated by the concept of food forestry and agroforestry. Since then, my goal has been to create a lush forest filled with trees of all kinds: trees have countless benefits for us, animals, soils, waters and the air we breathe, and being able to combine species that produce edible fruit also solves one of the ever-present critical issues, which is food production.
What varieties did you plant? by what criteria did you choose them?Where did you find the plants? what agricultural criteria did you follow in planting them (spacing, cc intercropping)?
Obviously, I started with the most native and suitable species for the humid, riverine microclimate on which I stand so Alders, Willows, Poplars pioneer species to begin soil regeneration.
I then placed side by side fruit plants of ancient varieties (eleagnus umbrellata, raven pear, blackberry, etc)handed down for generations from Lorenzo’s Nursery here in Moscufo.
A very important resource has also been the regional forest nurseries: here in Abruzzo, unfortunately, fewer and fewer and increasingly difficult to contact, but in other regions such as Marche and Molise they are thriving entities that distribute excellent plants at more than reasonable prices.
In the intercropping, I try to follow the principles of agroforestry and the creation of edible gardens: trees are planted very close together (1 meter or even less) juxtaposed according to the height levels achieved: so we have emergent trees, medium trees, low trees and shrubs, creepers and crawlers..In this way there is synergy and the idea is to create a syntropic system that over time becomes increasingly complex and generates abundance.
what are you left with from this day spent working together in a field together so many hosts and woofers, exchanging seeds and experiences?
An indescribable thrill, I really did not expect such enthusiastic participation from everyone. It was nice to see that even though we did not know each other, the connection was almost immediate. I guess it happens when you share the same values: most of us are people who have answered the call of the land and changed our habits and lifestyle to follow this calling.
Some useful links
Treeonfy and Moscufo Day are discussed.