Archive for marzo 2014

Potatoes, onions and chickpeas

marzo 22, 2014

Last months were warmer than usual (I mean last fall, winter and current spring) and at the beginning of march, as soon as i ended pruning olive trees, I begun to plant potatoes, onions and chickpeas. First i bought 75 kg of potatoes, choosing three varieties: desirèe, monalisa and adora. I dig grooves every 60 cm, 15 cm dip, adding compost in them and then placing the potatoes every 30 cm and finally covering them with some soil. It’s a common practice to cut potetoes in half before planting them.




Twenty days later I’m noticing the first potatoes appearing from under the soil.

For the onions i bought around two thousand plants of red and yellow varieties, which i transplanted in lines distant 30 cm, leaving 20 cm between each plant. Every 4 lines i left space to walk.

Finally, this year for the first time, I decided to grow some chickpeas, just a kilo, to get it a try. I dig little holes every 30 cm, leaving 50 cm between the lines. I placed compost in the holes and then four or five chickpeas. This kind of plant is really convenient because doesn’t need any care, first of all concerning water. That’s due to its capacity to grow roots up to two meters deep.


Panta Rei

marzo 5, 2014

Finally I visited Panta Rei. I heard about it long time ago, I knew its website, and it was time to be there in person. I went there by chance, last sunday, because I was invited, since new years eve, to th eannual WWOOF meeting who’s been hold in Panta Rei for the third time by now, Just because itì’s the perfect venue for such a event. Panta Rei is in Passignano, in the hills by the Trasimeno Lake, among hundreds of olive trees, in a fascinating nature.




With several hectars and buildings all made with natural materials (wood, Straw bale, clay) and greenbuilding technique, the place is an ongoing building site which works as a centre for sustainable practices, not just linked with architecture and building.

The main building is divided in a large dining room ad the kitchen next door, with a large room used for conferences and courses of many kind. Also, there are several buildings used by residents, another one with rooms for guests, and finally another building, which i didn’t see, use as a laboratory for schools. 



Beside the buildings, there are two sites for water herbal purification, and a quite large garden grown with the Emilia Hazelip methods.

In the morning, during my visit, I joined an interesting conference held by Gigi Manenti, a farmer from Biella, northern Italy, who introduced and shared his way of farming, an interesting one, based on few rules. For example, he doesnt fertilez the soil, and everything is based baring in mind the importance of some bacteria in the soil and their actions with the plant roots.



Many people were present, both wwoof host and volunteers, form Italy and foregners as well. There was a small market with local farmers. 

I haven’t spent much time there, but it was enough to enjoy the place, the people, and for understading the importance to have a place like this in Italy, and the lucky to have it not too far from my hometown. 

If you want to have a look at Panta Rei website, here it is the link