Women’s meaning for the earth
Source: Cristina Ravanelli / ph. Stephanie Gengotti — F, Cairo editore
The Earth calls, the women answer. In recent decades, Italian agriculture has been tinged with pink, with a host of young people who literally took to the field: according to Coldiretti, female employment of under 40s in the countryside grows three times as much as that of men. And it is estimated that, by 2020, 40 percent of agricultural businesses will be led by women. Paladins of a new way of farming, increasingly attentive to the environment and quality, often have a degree in their pocket, sometimes they have left the city moved by the desire to live according to the rhythms of nature, they are almost always innovators: they know combining ancient knowledge with a new way of enhancing the territory and its products. We have been to Umbria, the green heart of Italy, to tell you the story of some of them. Girls who, starting from scratch or taking over the reins of a family business, have carved out a job in the countryside. And the earth has repaid them with its good fruits: today they are satisfied professionals.
What do you do? “For 10 years I have been working on my family’s farm, which produces wine and oil. I manage the commercial part and the wine production. I travel a lot: our products are exported all over the world, even to the Maldives and Mexico. We also do cooking classes and organize picnics in the vineyard.
How did the idea come about? «Mine is a family that has been working the land for generations. In 1992 my father Omero decided to bottle with his own label. Montefalco Sagrantino Docg. At my mother’s choice, ours has always been an organic production. She, a nurse, worked all day, so my sister and I spent the days in the fields with dad: she wanted us to grow up in a safe environment and for this reason, she demanded that no pesticides were used. The company bears the name of my father, but here we are mainly women: my mother, my sister Lucia, an extra virgin oil expert, and my grandmother Quinta, 96 years old. ! We filmed her while she is cooking typical recipes and posted these video on YouTube: she has become a web star “.
What does this job give you? “I was imagining a different life. I have a degree in Architecture, I studied in Ferrara and Barcelona. Then my mother’s illness forced her to return. It was not easy to put my dreams in the drawer, but today I know I made the right choice: life in the countryside is special, and it will also be for my children, when they arrive. However, they will have to take flight and do what they want. Furthermore, I am aware that, having studied outside, I can give a lot to my territory. And in fact, I am part of the Strada del Sagrantino, an association that promotes our area ».
And what does it take away from you? “There is never rest. In my grandmother’s time in January, when the countryside “sleeps”, the sheets were embroidered. Nowdays January is time for fairs ».