Best Practices in Italy

Silvana is almost 30 years old, she is a social worker in Palermo and manager of Veg Donald’s.

Veg Donald’s is one of the urban gardens in Palermo promoted by the association Il Triangolo delle Verdure.

In one of the city’s least-resourced neighborhoods, she manages with volunteers a 240-square-meter urban garden and carries out projects with schools, housing communities for minors and the Palermo court’s external criminal execution office.

Her experience as a social worker, allowed her to pay due attention to people at risk of marginalization and, working firsthand in the garden, she realized the strong educational and re-educational power this activity has.
From all these considerations and lived experiences, and also from a personal interest that Silvana has in the world of environmental and food sustainability, the idea was born to carry out projects with the Palermo Courthouse to work on re-education, with housing communities to create a different environment in which learning is stimulated, and with schools for workshops on self-production and basic cultivation techniques.

The Association was founded to promote self-production, starting with what it is believed to be the most important element for personal and environmental well-being, namely food.

The main goal is to bring people closer to the Earth and help them grow vegetables and greens using natural and organic methods within their Shared Urban Garden. Il Triangolo delle Verdure is also the place where Social Farming projects and educational gardens for pupils of all levels are developed.

Agriculture today represents the number one source of pollution. The indiscriminate use of pesticides, fertilizers and herbicides is rapidly transforming our planet, negatively impacting flora and fauna worldwide.

The response of organic farming to these issues has not lived up to expectations, as, in addition to the many scams that have been uncovered, very often behind the organic production that we find on supermarket shelves, there are large companies based on monocultures and extensive methods that equally have a strong environmental impact.

True sustainable agriculture, on the other hand, consists of small-scale production that respects Nature and biodiversity, which finds its greatest expression in self-production.

G.A.L (Local Action Group) Rocca di Cerere Geopark

History of the name

 The name ‘Rocca di Cerere’ was chosen to emphasise the deep and very ancient link between geology and the myth of the Chthonic deities. Already the indigenous populations of ancient Sicily, Sicans and Siculians, worshipped figures linked to the earth and the subsoil. These cults can be summed up in the Latin name of Ceres, in Greek Démeter, the patron goddess of agriculture, worshipped on the highest peak of the city of Henna, the Rock of Ceres.

The mission of the G.A.L.

The company was set up in 1998 as a G.A.L. (Local Action Group) to implement and manage the LEADER II Community Initiative Programme in the south-east of the Province of Enna.

LEADER (Liaisons entre actions de développement de l’économie rurale) is a Community Initiative Programme aimed at stimulating innovative actions for rural development and promoting the integrated and sustainable development of rural areas.

  • Technical assistance for the establishment of local partnerships
  • Technical assistance for the elaboration of local integrated development strategies.
  • Promotion of projects containing innovative and demonstration elements.
  • Feasibility studies, technical consultancy in favour of consortia member enterprises and SMEs and other activities of farmers and artisans wishing to join consortia, also by researching potential markets.Creation of counters to guide, advise and support young people wishing to start a business.
  • Sensitisation of the school population to the identity and prospects of their area.
  • Creation of new employment and entrepreneurship, especially among young people, in every productive sector with particular reference to agriculture, handicrafts, trade and tourism.
  • Promotion of tourism and agri-tourism development.
  • Enhancement and promotion of local agricultural and craft products.
  • Enhancement of the territory also through the development of differentiated forms of tourism.
  • Consultancy, research, cognitive surveys, drafting of recovery plans also in the socio-economic, agronomic, environmental, tourism, infrastructural and technological fields.

Social Farm of Welcome Calascibetta

When was the social farm born and how?

The Social Farm idea born in the 2019

The project is carried out by a partnership composed of a Temporary Purpose Association, made up of the ” Regional Coordination Volunteering and Solidarity Luciano Lama” (lead partner), the “Incastri Creativi” Cooperative Society, the ” Salt of the Earth ” Consortium, the “Mediter Italia” association, Euroconsult, the ” Study Centre Aurora” association, the Municipality of Calascibetta and the Gal Rocca di Cerere.

Who is the project aimed at?

It is aimed at all those who are 18 years of age or older and are Victims or potential victims of exploitation, preferably with experience in agricultural work, with a migration background as they have been settled in the country for at least five years.

In the project are involved 20 immigrant citizens coming from different countries: Somalia, Egypt, Ivory Coast, Guinea, Gambia, Cameroon, Nigeria and Bangladesh.

Social Farm of Welcome Calascibetta

The project is a three-year plan, from 2020 to 2022.

The Educational method provides 240 hours in both synchronous and face-to-face modes with:

  • orientation modules (12 hours),
  • theoretical basics afferent to linguistic,
  • regulatory and sectoral areas (120 hours),
  • specialized technical-practical modules (78 hours)
  • a project idea workshop entitled “Innovative Social Farming” (30 hours).