seminasiepi 1

The story of the Seminasiepi first stage

by | Oct 2, 2023 | Initiatives, Projects of WWOOF Italy, Training

the three days at the Caprasanta

Between Sept. 8 and Sept. 10, the Working Group for the Custody of Land Ecology (GLCET), coordinated the Seminasiepi Prima Tappa (SPT) course, dedicated to the 7 people selected through the call for proposals issued in the spring by WWOOF Italy

The Caprasanta farm, WWOOF Italy educational center, a ten-minute walk from the center of Santa Maria del Taro, hosted participants from the evening of September 7 to the morning of September 11, 2023.

The days were attended by soc@ corsist@ Giorgio Albiero, Veronica Bianco, Sara Blancardi, Damiano Buscema, Giuseppe Cascelli, Davide Florit, Riccardo Padovani; three people from the organizing group (GLCET) Dino Chiaraviglio, Francesco Francisci, Marcella Leoncini; and three main lecturers: Enrico Bocchi, Massimiliano Petrolo, Elena Piva.


The first day of the course

From 8 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. participants left Caprasanta on foot, completing a circular hike between 750-1000 mslm, which included ascending Vallombrara to Pian Lavagnolo and crossing a former pasture corresponding to the southern slope of Mt. Ghiffi. With the hike, participants both traversed and remotely observed the vegetation cover, especially woody. Thus, it could be seen that in the northern exposure proceeding toward Pian Lavagnolo, the calcareous sedimentary rocks fostered a very diverse mixed forest with hygrophilous, mesophilous, and even xerophilous species in places. An extensive coppice cut 7-8 years ago in which numerous woody species are renewed was also crossed. The volcanic ophiolitic rocks on the slopes of Ghiffi, with the very rainy climate, favor the growth of acidophilic species. The abandonment of grazing and the proximity of population centers has thus influenced the growth of shrublands mixed with pioneer species, interspersed with patches of forest formed by trees suitable for midday exposures, including several rosaceae (frequent wild apple trees and/or derived from domestic varieties). It was pointed out that insights can be drawn from these associations to establish new hedges in similar areas, and also that it is completely counterproductive to want to distort the aptitudes of each species by placing them in areas with pedological, geological, and microclimatic characters that are foreign to their ecology. In the afternoon in Caprasanta, participants reviewed the aspects that emerged during the excursion. Enrico Bocchi was the main lecturer on the first day.

Day 2.

Two main topics are discussed during the morning:

Practice for collecting seeds or young plants of woody wild flora, to store said materials, to germinate seeds (preferably immediately in soil, resorting to containers only if limited quantities of hard-to-find seeds are available), to keep young plants temporarily potted (with pots in crates with closed bottoms, daily watering is avoided), or to plant them immediately (explanting and transplanting small plants at the time of vegetative recovery).

Considerations for designing/establishing new hedges or trees, improving and consolidating existing hedges and trees. Enrico Bocchi was the main lecturer for this first part of the day.

In the afternoon, participants observe the techniques by which the Caprasanta farm cultivates its vegetable gardens. Considerations in particular on: mulching that also includes co-presence of useful (not just edible) wild herbs ; effects from looming forest.

Elena Piva was the main lecturer for this second part of the day during which she also talked with farmers from adjacent locations.

The third day

In the morning, participants drove to theWWF Oasis of Ghirardi (also EmiliaRomagna Nature Reserve) near Borgo Taro, where a periodic market was being held by organic farmers from the Upper Taro Valley.

The day was held in three phases.

First phase. Participants discussed synergies between Seminasiepi and other similar activities involving some of them, and then delved into different implications by learning about the Arboreo project in the Pistoia area and the activities conducted by the Ecoinstitute of Cerbaie in the Pisa area. Farmers present for the market also participated in the discussion.

The main lecturer in this first phase was Massimiliano Petrolo who contextualized Arboreo in the world of farmers by connecting to what Enrico Bocchi explained earlier about seeds and native plants.

Second phase. Participants made a tour of the oasis by talking with Guido Sardella historical creator/manager. Various issues were addressed including changes in vegetation cover as a result of climate change, decreased agricultural activity, and an increase in wild ungulates. The effects and implications of water collections made in different ways, relations with public administrations and with farmers and hunters in surrounding communities were also considered.

Third phase. Participants, particularly the trainees, discussed their commitments to give back the skills they acquired in actually creating hedges and trees by making use of local woody flora. Veronica, from Friuli plans to coordinate with Pecora Nera inCarnia and/or with acquaintances near Sassari. Damiano, from Modica, considers three places: his own WWOOF Italy Education Center (Giardini d’Antan), his collaboration with Semi Liberi and the Radice Sicula company. Instead, Riccardo proposes to derive living fences by selectively cutting the forest surrounding him in San Benedetto in Alpe , he will also start a small nursery to provide neighbors, install hedges in social gardens in Ravenna. Sara, from Bordighera, plans to coordinate with the host of Borghetto dei Lonfi in Pescara, and take action on a plot in Bordighera. Giorgio, from Reggio Emilia, plans in the Vicenza area to contain a forest and hedge from scratch on land made available by Edi Rossato, among those present at Ghirardi. Davide, from Milan, plans a hedge at his own place in Friuli that suffers passages of off-road vehicles and a second hedge at a place of acquaintances near Bossolasco in the Langhe. Finally, Giuseppe, from Bari, plans to coordinate with Masseria del Sonante in Basilicata.

Additional content discussed during the first stage of Seminasiepi

SPT participants have repeatedly called for WWOOF Italy to facilitate, where possible, a more structured relationship between hosts and travelers, for example by identifying travelers with persistent re-enrollments.

On several occasions it was pointed out that the Seminasiepi initiative descends from activities that have involved people who are part of GLCET over the past few years, including the Resifarms project and the agreement to guard the ecology of the Veranello farmland in Scansano.

During the Sept. 9 dinner, Daniele Ecotti, founder of Io non ho paura del Lupo, outlined the association’s activities, particularly for the management of guard dogs, and possible collaborations with WWOOF Italy were discussed. During the morning of September 11, a meeting of the GLCET group took place at Caprasanta that definitely included Elena Piva, Massimiliano Petrolo, Enrico Bocchi in the group. The same meeting also sketched out the next Seminasiepi activities: these will continue by, among other things, making use of the potential of Caprasanta, while the possible cooperation of Ecocerbaie and Arboreo (MPetrolo), with WWOOF Italy members from Pistoia, will be explored.



Pubblicato da Claudio per WWOOF Italia

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