History of the Farm
December 23rd 2008
“La Fattoria dell’Autosufficienza sarl” was established by Francesco Rosso and Macrolibrarsi (company of Golden Books) with the intent of creating an international centre for research and disclosure of knowledge related to self-sufficiency (food, medicine, energy, etc.).
February 11th 2009
La Fattoria dell’Autosufficienza purchased the fields, the old cowsheds and the ruins of the “Podere Caselle” farm located in Paganico di Bagno di Romagna.
No one had lived there for the last 40 years and there were no buildings that could be used except for an old cowshed with Eternit roofing that soon became a storehouse. Electricity was available and there was a small water reservoir fed by local springs.
- The authorities (Forlì-Cesena Provincial Authority ) denied regional funding at first (we never understood the real reason), so we lost the chance of receiving funds to renovate the Farm. We know that one of the province’s priorities is to support the breeding of cows for meat production, but we have no interest in this business.
- Registration with the “Italian Academy of Permaculture”.
- First permaculture project by Jhon Button.
- Clean-up of the Farm centre which was covered by invasive plants; recovery of fields and roads; removal of plastic, iron and other waste that had been left by the previous farm keeper.
- Start of cooperation with Elena Parmiggiani, expert in Permaculture and Synergistic Agriculture;
- Start of cooperation with Jerry;
- The first orchard was planted and surrounded by an electric fence, hedges and artificial nests in order to attract birds. The work was done under the supervision of Sergio Abram, an expert in Eco-friendly Agriculture;
- Purchase of the first agricultural machines and equipment: tractor, quad, yeoman’s plough, excavator, shredder, etc.;
- Swales and small lakes are created under the supervision of John Button, Permaculture designer
- Launch of the web site autosufficienza.com;
- New fruit trees planted in the swales created in 2010;
- Disposal of the Eternit roofing that covered the unused cowshed.
- Installation of a composting toilet (dry toilet) and purchase/building of a self-sufficient Yurt, with a solar panel and a small domestic-sized wind turbine;
- Purchase and building of small temporary wooden houses, gazebos for kitchen use, toilets (with constructed wetlands) and an outdoor dining and recreation area. Installation of the first electrical and water temporary supply system.
- Installation of the first electrical and water temporary supply system.
- First open-day with presentation of the Self-Sufficiency Farm project.
- First courses on Eco-friendly Agriculture and Breeding, Synergistic Agriculture, Permaculture and visit to Francesco’s idol Sepp Holzer in Austria;
- About 3 hectares of land around the Farm centre are enclosed by electric fencing to make it inaccessible to hunters, mushroom hunters, etc.
- The first dry stone walls are constructed;
- 2 km of electric and telephone cables (which unfortunately have a very bad environmental impact) are laid underground;
- An exceptional wind storm takes the roof off a wooden house that will then be relocated.
- An exceptional snow storm breaks down the Eternit roofing of the cowshed used as a storehouse;
- Construction of dry stone walls, fences and pathways;
- A pond is created nearby the Farm centre (now covered by water lilies) and another one is made for geese.
- Renovation of the cellar, used to store food and seeds;
- A synergistic vegetable garden is created in the kindergarten of San Piero in Bagno;
- Thermal insulation (done with hemp) and lighting (100% LED) are installed in the wooden house temporary used as a kitchen;
- Construction of a walrus-shaped clay oven and its shelter during a course on self-construction.
- Registration with the Italian Wwoofing Association and hosting of the first Wwoofers;
- Start of cooperation with Andrea Iacopinelli for the management of the vegetable gardens;
- Terracing of part of the fields and construction of dry stone walls;
- Jude and Michel Fanton, authors of “The Seed Savers Handbook”, visit the Farm;
- Setup of a food forest experimental area;
- The ancient grain “Gentil Rosso” is harvested by hand;
- A new rural water supply system is built in Paganico along with a new water storage and distribution system for agricultural purposes;
- Lilla, the old Maremma Sheepdog of the Farm, dies at the age of 17 and two new dogs (Bill and Sepp) take her place;
- One of the Farm pathways landslides due to an underground spring. A drainage system is installed in order to divert the course of the spring.
- Trees are planted in the an area subject to landslides.
- Apple, pear and wild cherry trees are grafted.
- A greenhouse is built for seedbeds;
- Start of renovation works on the stone house ruins;
- Internet connection arrives on the Farm;
- Terracing of several areas of the Farm;
- Start of the production of vegetables to be sold in the Macrolibrarsi store;
- Start of the production of aromatic herbs;
- First harvest of ancient grains and spelt;
- An experimental vegetable garden is created by using a compost pile;
- The first goats arrive to the Farm, joining the cats, dogs, rabbits, hens, turkeys, peacocks, doves and pigs that were already there.
- First packaged Farm produts: flour, pasta, barley and lentils;
- Three first internships carried out on the Farm in cooperation with the University of Agriculture;
- Two white wild doves arrive spontaneously on the Farm and settle down;
- Plentiful production of potatoes, tomatoes, pumpkins, lettuces, chard, onions, turnips, garlic, beans, green beans, chicories, celery, etc.
- First harvest of naked barley, hulled barley and lentils;
- End of renovation works on the external part of the stone house ruins.
- Emile and Elisa arrive at the Farm
- New website of the Farm available in both Italian and English
- End of renovation works on the stone-building and arrangement of external areas
- Presentation of the general project for renovating and constructing the new headquarters
- Start of the first market garden
- First courses on self-production and self-sufficiency
- Seminar with Peter Wohlleben
- Sepp Holzer spend a week ath the Farm as consultant and for holding an open course on permaculture
- Creatiion of terraces with Sepp Holzer
- Opening of the agritourism
- First terrace cultivations of vegetables, fruit plants, berries and aromatic herbs.
- First renovation works on the storehouse
- Opening of the farm shop
- Construction of a new gate and entrance to the farm
- New ventilation system in the cellar
- New water main
- New parking for cars and buses and new drywall
- New fence made of chestnut wood
- First experiences of food catering for ceremonies and company meetings
- Construction of a canopy with shake roof
- 36 beehives arrive at the farm
- Natural mowers arrive at the farm: sheeps!
- Organic fertilisation with volcanic rocks and organic manure
- Many new fruit plants
- Seeding of a mixed culture of 10 ancient grains
A year that will also be remembered for the serious damage caused by the summer drought, the wind and the prolonged frost.
- End of the renovation works on the storehouse and new roof
- Starting producing essential oils, aromatic waters and honey
- Construction of a big henhouse
- Construction of a new cob oven
- Restaurant open every weekend during summer
- Petting zoo: the farm is open to schools and educational activities
- Opening of the camping and the octagolanl building for yoga and meditation
- Construction of the new storehouse underground and with low environmental impact
End of the renovation works of the 1400-square-metres demolished barns
- Energy self-sufficiency