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.

Our approach

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.

  • Regenerate for use: prevent loss of natural soil fertility by adopting efficient management and maintenance techniques in order to produce crops that benefit biodiversity
  • Experiment and implement agroforestry practices for agricultural production
  • Increase the biodiversity of food available in the Monferrato (Piedmont) area, enhancing the value of local agriculture
  • Promote the consumption of local products, in synergy with San Salvatore Monferrato municipality's policies towards workers and consumers
  • Collaborate with Universities and researchers to integrate new technologies and monitor the project's progress
  • Involve the academic community and experts on the subject to promote and share the project’s results and long-term sustainability, as well as collecting data on the productive and economic potential of agroforestry
  • Identify the most promising and suitable agroforestry systems for these farmlands, sharing cultivation techniques and market data that are relevant and important for farmers
  • Contribute to the creation of new ethical and economical values
Agroforestry farm, Italy
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