Villa Fortuna’s farmlands are located in the Italian region of Piedmont, within the San Salvatore Monferrato municipality (province: Alessandria).
These farmlands, covering a total area of 950 square meters, divided into 31 plots, have suffered for decades from the use of chemicals utilised in conventional crop rotation: pesticides, weed-killers, and synthetic fertilizers that are widely used in modern farming.
We observed an impoverished fertility of the soil, a total absence of microorganisms, and an imbalanced ecosystem: meaning a visible loss of wildlife such as birds and bats, which are vital for the regeneration of the natural environment.
Since the property has been acquired in 2017, the farmlands are left to recover, with the mown grass to sheathe and protect the soil.
The project aims to develop (through several experiments) a low-impact, replicable agricultural production model. We believe that the agri-food production methods that only consider the yield of the final product, based on monoculture and the artificial nourishment of plants, have proved unsustainable by now.
That is why we want to contribute in finding solutions that are respectful of our living environment.
We will use our own farmland, using our own funds, to experiment with the practice of agroforestry in order to understand and measure its feasibility in hilly locations such as ours. We will examine the ideal combination of crops, paying particular attention to saving water and energy, and handling biomasses. With the support of Ernst Gotsch, expert in agroforestry and syntropic farming, we will develop the first designs for the agricultural production model and we will prepare the soil for our anticipated cultivation activities in October and November.
Once the restorative work has been finalised, we will erect the headquarters of the Fondazione Capellino in the buildings surrounded by these lands.