I'm a belgian who has moved to Sicily, Italy. On a 5ha plot of land I'm putting back in working order an abandoned farm. The land is situated in small valley in south of Sicily. Part of it lies next to a river, another part is a plain halfup the hill. Big part of the slope is terraced by dry-walls.
The land has never been transformed into a monoculture of species but has been build up logic. Near the river are the trees which are in need of more water like wallnuts, citrus, loquats, kaki... also the vegetable garden used to be there. Uphill are olives, almonds and carob trees. Scattered around are some apple, apricot, pear, pistachio, pomegranate, myrtle, mulberry etc.
By adding other species and experiment with guilds I want to transform this current situation into a foodforest.
There are also two old buildings on the land. I already started rebuilding parts of it. By using local material (like cane) and traditional building techniques i want to keep it as ecologic as possible. Inside cob can be used to finish the walls (one day...)
Lots of people know that the rat race is not healthy but do not know what the alternatives are. I also got through this proces. That's why I like to create a place for people to come and stay, to come and go, to live and learn with nature and the cycle of life. A place that shows it's possible to live off grid and without all the waste that massconsumption creates. To show some of the sollutions.
This last couple of years I learned so much about herbs, wild edible plants, skills that schools do not teach. Things so many people (as I had) have lost connection with.
I would like to invite anyone interested. If you like to have the same experience or if you want to help out (there's always something to do ) You're welcome. For now I can host you in a big old army tent or maybe you would like to put up a yurt or tipi?
The one in charge here are the seasons, they determine the tasks: pruning, harvesting, planting, building (not when it's hotttt)
The things I'm going to do this winter are repairing the old irrigation channel, planting loads of trees, creating a hedge, installing a rampump. Not to forget, hiking, meeting up with friends, exploring, learning....
I'm also applying to become a Wwoof host and helpx host this year.
If you like to have more info and see some pictures, I created a group on facebook: firstname.lastname@example.org The Durbo is the name of a plane-tree that used to grow in this valley, the abandoned hamlet is still called so. By antica I indicate that I use antique solutions (nowadays it's called ecologic) and 'low-technology'
Thanks for taking your time reading this. Michel
(Mahatma Ghandi quote: be the change you want to see in the world)
I'd like to go to Sicily for a week in mid-January and was looking for WWOOF opportunities. Do you think you'll be ready to host then? And what sort of activities will you be doing on the farm at that time?
Hi Michel, I wonder how things are going for you a year on? I'm British but lived a few years in Sicily and I'm planning to go back in January 2015, in particular to do some WWOOFING. Really interested to hear more about your project and to know if you will want help in 2015. Hope to hear from you soon, Sally.
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