I started in 2013 to have agricultural experiences as a WWOOFer during University. I liked it so much that after graduating in Business Administration I did a short training as a Professional Agricultural Entrepreneur and at the same time I worked in various farms as an employee.
I came to Mario and Isa’s farm ‘Finocchio Verde’ when I was still studying and stayed for three months. This is a multi-purpose farm with a high level of self-sufficiency, which requires different skills in many fields and it is precisely here that the clear idea that I wanted to become a farmer matured in me. At the end of 2017 there were serious difficulties with Mario’s health, with him I had a good bond of friendship and mutual respect, so I was asked to take over the farm. In many ways I felt ready: I had good experience with the animals, I was able to manage the vegetable garden and I had also learned how to make good bread. I knew the administrative issues thanks to my university education but I completely lacked the experience in the kitchen and for the farm. Mario had the brilliant idea to introduce me to Julien: he worked as a cook in a nearby restaurant, putting us together we had all the necessary experience and we launched into this adventure. After Mario's death, Isa has remained here with us and continues to support us in this delicate passage with her precious advice.
If we want to make an overall evaluation I can say that WWOOF gave me a general training in agricultural life and the inspiration necessary to understand what I wanted to do, then I found my channels to deepen, especially working as an employee now it’s time to realize this dream of autonomously managing this beautiful reality. I am very grateful to Mario & Isa, the peasants who were / are the most important mentors along my training.
Mario Gala, shepherd and teacher of life, wanted to leave testimony of his great experience in two simple and concise texts that go directly to the key point. 'Gesto dell'ombrello' is also tanslated into English, The Solution. You can purchase all these books on line.
Il gesto dell'ombrello is a small guide dedicated to those who in a moment of their life decide to make a change and abandon the bonds of the labour market and goods to devote themselves to the art of free self-sufficiency.
What form of freedom is higher than that which allows one to free oneself from need and dependence?
Mario was not naive and he knew well that the road to get closer to freedom can hide a thousand dangers: Il gesto dell'ombrello sviscerates and helps to circumvent them with ingenious simplicity. Some testimonies accompany the text. Italian version.
This agricultural model, both positive and sustainable, has so deeply fascinated many young people to the point of changing their livers and their future choices. Not being able to host every aspiring farmer, I have decided to write this little handbook dedicated to all those young people wishing to improve their quality of life, wishing to live surrounded by beauty - and who, at the ugly things in life, say "up yours!"
'Love in the time of the Wwoof' is a scattering of short stories. In Italian only.
Numerous Wwoofers have passed through the Finocchio Verde farm and many of them have made radical and lasting life choice.
Mario describes to us from his privileged point of observation some of these stories often happy, sometimes suffered, full of love and satisfaction.
The story does not end here: Mario has left us prematurely but has not forgotten to leave us a legacy of pleasant tasks to do that will produce texts that are equally useful and lasting over time.
He also gave us copies of the books you find for sale and all the proceeds will be dedicated to the solidarity fund for farms in crisis.
We were many, who came from near and far, who chose to say goodbye to Mario and to support Isa and his children with affection: among many, many young people whose lives Mario changed, helping them to open their eyes to themselves, to their own inspiration, to the freedom to try.