Grillo Parlante by Ivan Ingrilli

Libertà Di Scelta Per La Propria Salute

Libertà Di Scelta Per La Propria Salute

Grillo Parlante

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Gennaio 15, 2004

L'esperienza nel viaggio, il contatto ritrovato.




Stressati, affaticati dalla routine!?
Parti, vai a infilare le mani nel fango, respira un po' di sano profumo della terra (la cacca delle mucce, l'odore dei fiori, etc), spaccati la schiena con una zappa e bevi del tuo sudore! Nutri il tuo senso della sopravvivenza, piantando una piantina di pomodoro! Ama la terra, vivi la terra.

Ti interessa conoscere un nuovo stile di vita biologico e biodinamico?

Devi sapere che ci sono tante fattorie pronte ad ospitarti in cambio del tuo lavoro e della tua compagnia.
E' un modo di viaggiare in tutto il mondo entrando veramente nel tessuto sociale-agricolo del Paese visitato ed allo stesso tempo di dare un aiuto dove è richiesto e dove se ne presenta la necessità.
L'associazione WWOOF mette in contatto la fattoria (con l'offerta di vari lavori, fare il formaggio, l'orto, ecc...) e il viaggiatore.
Dovrai partire armato di buona volontà, voglia di imparare e di lavorare duro, capacità di adattarti allo stile di vita di chi ti ospita.
In queste fattorie tutti lavorano e molti vivono con poche risorse, dovrai accettare e rispettare questo fatto.

E' una bella esperienza che consiglio, senz'altro un modo per conoscere le persone in una maniera diversa e forse più profonda, altri modi di vivere ed altri punti di vista.

Devi avere 18 anni, scegliere quale esperienza di lavoro vuoi svolgere e il paese dove vuoi essere ospitato, poi dovrai iscriverti all'Associazione WWOOF (nata 29 anni fa nel Regno Unito), ti verrà spedita una lista di coltivatori biologici e avrai tutti i contatti e aiuti di cui hai bisogno per organizzarti.

Per avere informazioni dettagliate visita i siti della lista WWOOF Qui sotto la lista dei paesi che fanno parte della WWOOF Associazione WORLD-WIDE OPPORTUNITIES on ORGANIC FARM

WWOOF Independants:
sono aziende WWOOF nei paesi che non hanno un'organizzazione nazionale.
Puoi contattarli via

Per l'Italia

Trovato su Noi e la Luna, dove troverete maggiori informazioni.

Di seguito un articolo del Washington Post che racconta dell'esperienza di un artista in "vacanza" in una fattoria biologica in Portogallo.

An Artist's Harvest
Bartering his labor as a farmhand for a free place in Portugal, an American draws on many talents.

By Patterson Clark
Washington Post Staff Writer
Sunday, February 18, 2001; Page E01

Near the secluded Mondego River valley of northern Portugal, ancient terraces of vineyards, vegetables, and fruit and nut trees support a small community of organic farmers and their animals.

My wife, Lenore, and I have come to live and work with them for a week. We're not farmers, merely urban organic gardeners with a hankering for the feel of big land and agrarian community. Through an organization called Willing Workers on Organic Farms (WWOOF), we've signed on as farmhands of sorts. They give us free room and board; we give them six hours of manual labor a day, five days a week.

Lenore and I have long had a vague dream of one day moving to the country to grow our own food. We know farming is hard work.

We are about to discover just how hard.

Three hours from Lisbon, we hop off the night train at tiny Santa Comba Dao, where our host, Toivo, and his 11-year-old son, Tezra, greet us. They drive us to their mountainous farm at the end of a valley. No electricity here; we rely on a late-October gibbous moon to illuminate the path to our candlelit trailer, where we find the bed firm and the blankets thick and warm.

At daybreak, a chilly fog slowly yields to the sun and the landscape unveils itself. Pines and cork oaks cover the wild hillsides that flank the 17-acre farm's terraced vineyards, which are woven through orchards of olive, apple, pear, peach, cherry, quince, chestnut, hazel and persimmon.

Past the farm family's temporary home, on the bed of a big truck, and beyond their house-under-construction, we find the outdoor kitchen tent. Here we meet the residents, five adults and four kids:

• Toivo, Annie and their two youngest children, Tezra and Jade, moved here two years ago from a community farm in Wales. The British expatriates purchased the old farm in hopes of establishing a community of several families. The dream has been slow to develop, so they've opened their farm to WWOOFers, who've helped shoulder the heavy workload.

• Another Brit, Su, and her two young children, Rosie and Jaia, live in a motor home in the valley below. Su is persistent in her efforts to construct an earth oven so she can bake bread for the farm.

• Robert, a soft-spoken first-time WWOOFer from the Netherlands, often makes the three-mile hike uphill to the village for cigarettes and a visit to the cafe. The only one on the farm with a radio, he provides the latest weather reports.

• Ross, a former recycling manager from Roanoke, lives in an old circus wagon down by the quince orchard. He came to Europe last spring for a two-month tour and discovered that he could extend his stay by working on organic farms. His goal: to spend a couple of years farming his way through Europe and Australia.

After breakfast, we lace up our work boots, plunge our hands into thick leather work gloves and traipse down the mountain to help Su dig her earth oven. Excavating with a shovel and pick, we cut a deep groove into a bank of crumbly granite subsoil to bury a metal barrel on its side. The barrel will be suspended over a fire that's vented with a chimney at the back. Until the oven is finished, we'll continue to eat bread from the village bakery.

During our week on the farm, we find more chores in store:

Pulling brambles is usually the first job of the day. We assault a vast thicket smothering the quince orchard. Initially, the wickedly prickly canes bewilder us, but we soon find the rhythm of the task -- and discover the weakness of the bramble. We chop at the roots, grab the plant and yank, tossing the brambles into piles for burning.

Building steps on steep muddy paths makes traversing the farm's steep slopes less treacherous. After digging soil steps, we brace them with planks held fast with olive-wood stakes.

Weeding vegetable beds is a constant chore made easier by the loose, moist soil and the lively company of our fellow workers.

Tending goats is a morning and evening task. Billy goat Pinsel and the two nannies, young Dixie and milk goat Morgaine, are led to pasture on rainless days. The order of the goat march is always the same: Morgaine, in front, pauses to nibble, until randy Pinsel gooses her from behind, causing her to bolt ahead until her urge to chew returns. Dixie always brings up the rear.

To protect fruit trees and grapevines, we tether the goats with long ropes anchored by stakes. Water buckets skirt the edge of the eating radius so they won't be knocked over by a tether. After a day of rumination, the three goats are leashed and ushered back to spend the night penned in separate stables under the house -- an age-old technique that helps heat the home.

Cleaning out goat pens is a highly sensory experience. Nine months of layered hay and manure, fiercely matted into a reeking ammonia carpet, are ripped from the floor with a curved rake, forked into a wheelbarrow and carted outside for a new life as fodder for the hungry compost pile.

Scything a field, we mow the grass low enough for tilling. Tilling the field requires two people: one to guide the tiller, the other to rake out the grass roots from the soil. The loud and noxious internal-combustion engine seems harsh and out of place in this rustic setting, but it chops up the ground in a fraction of the time it would take to do it with forks and spades.

We sow half the field with big white lupine seeds that are left on the soil's surface. The other half is sown with oats, which we rake in.

Digging trenches for irrigation pipes is relatively easy, as the soil is loose and deep, but European hand tools take some getting used to. At first they seem oddly shaped and clunky, but we soon see the wisdom of their design.

Processing food is a perpetual activity. Choppers, cookers, diners and visitors constantly occupy the kitchen tent. The portion of the day's harvest that isn't consumed is dried, pickled, juiced or preserved -- like the quince fruits we plucked from above the brambles. We cup up the hard, tart yellow pomes and cook them with sugar over a slow flame. As the marmalade renders, we wash the preserve jars, sterilizing them in the oven, breaking a few. Patient Annie.

Food is the farm's treasure, the toothsome manifestation of everyone's labor. Fresh, tasty and free from pesticides, our meals are abundant and deeply satisfying. Breakfast is fruit and homemade porridge of oats, goat's milk and raisins. Lunch is bread, hard goat cheese, tomatoes and onions, pickled lupine seeds, olives and salads of garden and wild greens with edible flowers.

Supper is the most varied meal: delectable vegetable curries made with squash, potatoes, parsnips and onions. Red lentil lasagna. Garden burgers fashioned from white sweet potatoes, oats, wheat flour, vegetables and beans. Succulent purple grapes. Warm quince-raspberry pie.

While spooning down the tart treat, we forget our aching backs, the briar gashes, the hard kitchen bench. We're fully focused on the sweet-and-sour marvel before us, which we've cultivated, harvested and helped prepare.

True, we've only gotten a taste of farming during our five days here. But we leave Portugal with a feeling for what it's like to entwine ourselves into the lives of plants, animals and a community of people devoted to stewardship of the land.

Patterson Clark is an artist in The Post's News Art department.


mandato da Ivan Ingrilli il Giovedì Gennaio 15 2004
aggiornato il Sabato Settembre 24 2005

URL of this article:


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