Living in the green, and think holistically: Devis Bonanni has chosen, and Monica too, and today in Raveo, in the province of Udine, they lead a simple and low environmental impact, minimizing energy waste but not missing anything that is not necessary. Their life project is called Pecoranera, and it proves that live in the green it is not hermits at all, they are the proof, and many young people visit them for periods of work in exchange for hospitality.
1) When and how did you get the idea for this project? Did you see today what you "lost" and what "gained" by making it?
In 2002 I came across an article that talked about agriculture and food and energy self-sufficiency. There was illustrated the dream farm, the one we draw as children, dreaming of live in the green. I was obviously looking for something: I was 18 and I felt the fire of political and social commitment. In that little color utopia I saw a proposal beyond protest. Also thanks to this choice I stopped thinking in economic terms for think holistically.
2) What initial investment did you make? What was more difficult at the beginning?
Considering that I already had a roof over my head, I estimate that 5,000 euros per person were needed to start self-subsistence farming, of which 4,000 euros for 2000 square meters of land, in the mountains, and the rest in seeds, plants and tools. The biggest difficulty was not economic, however, but rather overcome mental prisons. The philosopher R.W. Emerson wrote: “To believe in one's own thought, to believe that what is true for you, personally for you, is also true for all men, here is genius. Give voice to the conviction latent in you, and it will take on universal significance ”. Are we able to follow our genius to the end?
3) Are you self-supporting today? What do you produce? Do you use particular methods?
When I sit at the table and look at my plate, I can say that I always find two or three things that come from our land, and only one that has been purchased. For example, a dinner could be a cap salad, with eggs, radishes and beans. Only the flour for making bread would be purchased. We are able to self-refuel fruit and vegetables, potatoes and beans, polenta flour and, soon, also cereals such as barley and wheat. We obviously grow with the organic method and trying to follow the principles of permaculture. Yet the hardest thing remains this vice of "making the Earth return" instead of giving thanks for every meal that is given to us.
4) From an energy point of view, how do you manage yourself?
You say Carnia you say woods: here yes lives in the green. We heat the house and domestic water only with wood we cut ourselves. In the guest house we also have a micro photovoltaic system but where we live we are connected to the grid. I believe less in alternative energies and a lot in energy saving: with a few tricks and less electrical junk you can consume very little.
5) How can we find you? Who usually arrives?
The procedures are those of Woofing. Board and lodging in exchange for four to six hours of work in the fields or in the woods. Many young people pass this way: perhaps they are realizing that this globalized and technocratic world does not have answers for everyone.
6) Are there other realities like yours with which you are connected? Could you become an eco-village?
The term ecovillage is a difficult and already misunderstood term. It is difficult because it brings up the aspect of sharing: are we really capable of it? It is misrepresented because it is already being attached to places that are mostly neighborhoods built in green building, or even eco resorts. Indicates a distant goal. We can count on the fingers of one hand the Italian experiences that could be defined as such with good reason. I would look for a more modern, less static term. Something that indicates both an ecological component but also of interconnection between people. Fluidity of action and ability to stop and reflect on our condition guests of the planet Earth. Can you give me a hand?
7) Do you have plans for the future to expand your business or to change it?
We have been enormously lucky. We have done a lot thanks to favorable conditions. We would like to be a support point for those wishing to undertake a similar path in our surroundings. Do we want to use a misplaced term? A kind of incubator for utopian-revolutionary start-ups. We are acquiring everything that can also be useful to others: seeds, plants, knowledge, machinery, contacts. Those interested know where to find me.
Related articles that may interest you: Permaculture: where and how to practice it.