In Scandicci it has been establisheda complex of vegetable gardens, called ‘Area Orti Urbani Via Masaccio’, has been created thanks to a regional contribution under the ‘Centomila Orti in Toscana’ programme.
The “Orti della diversità” project it is not only deals with the use and revamping of the area, with the allocation of 29 urban vegetable gardens, but also with the creation and development of activities aimed at training and information, socialisation and aggregation, both interpersonal and intergenerational, around themes relating to the promotion of healthy lifestyles, organic farming and sustainable development.
The gardens will be cultivated using natural methods and 14 of the plots have been allocated to gardeners under 40 years of age.
Rete Semi Rurali is the project leader.
Duration: from 2019
The Dynaversity project, taking forward what emerged in the previous DIVERSIFOOD and CERERE projects, focused on understanding the various dimensions of in situ conservation to facilitate communication and dissemination. The loss of diversity in the agri-food chain, and in particular the genetic erosion of edible plants, has been one of the consequences of modern agriculture that acquires particular significance in the context of climate change, as it reduces the ability of crops to adapt to changing conditions. Diversity conservation strategies have long focused on so-called ex-situ conservation (seed banks), but this mode of conservation has the disadvantage of placing limits on the amount of material conserved. Moreover, the material stored in seed banks is, so to speak, stationary in time, as it does not continue to adapt year after year to changing conditions in the fields. To underline the importance of on-farm conservation, DYNAVERSITY facilitated the integration of existing practical and scientific knowledge, and through the analysis of the communities involved in the conservation of agricultural biodiversity, the project aimed to identify efficient modes of organisation and management for the reintroduction of biodiversity into the food chain. As part of the project, Rural Seeds Network has worked to make visible the practices adopted to improve on-farm seed, and to promote its circulation in the community, producing evidence to influence the management strategies of seed systems in the direction of reintroducing biodiversity into the food chain. The project is nearing completion, and case studies and other documentation can already be found on the website. In particular, this project has produced a series of 10 short illustrative videos on biodiversity in the food supply chain, the various laws and regulations that promote and/or hinder agrobiodiversity, and how consumers can also take action to preserve it. Website: http://www.dynaversity.eu/
BIOGREEN, is an intensive training in organic and biodynamic farming, within the framework of the Tuscany Region programme to contribute to innovative business management, devoted to the low environmental impact and capable of adding value to the products of organic and biodynamic agriculture. The BIOGREEN course aims to create a figure who is aware of the social and economic opportunities with a modern approach to organic and biodynamic agriculture and to stimulate the birth of innovative local supply chains.
The BIOGREEN course aims to train the target group in organic and biodynamic farming methods and in innovative and effective farm management, also in relation to market opportunities and agricultural policies. BIOGREEN offers farmers in-depth training on the most important topics of this type of agriculture, starting with the soil – how to preserve or increase fertility, which processing techniques to use – agricultural biodiversity – which seeds to use, how to carry out research on the farm, how to cultivate evolving populations – but also how to adhere to organic/biodynamic regulations and how to approach the sale of products, the composition of the label and communication to consumers. The aim of the workshops is to analyse real cases of organic and biodynamic farms on site. Website: https://www.apab.it/en/biogreen-2021/
The second phase of the PEI RESILIENT CEREALS project has been underway since 2019, in which the Operational Group consolidated during the first part of the project is carrying out all the planning activities foreseen by the Strategic Plan through the entire supply chain. The protagonists are the local networks of farmers who contribute to the reproduction of seeds, managing their correct evolution over time, and to their dissemination, with the technical and scientific support of the project partners. The project aims to achieve economic objectives:
- To produce cereal material selected for its adaptability and evaluated for its technological and nutritional characteristics in order to develop local production chains.
- To increase the production potential of cereals for organic and low-input farming in order to guarantee a higher income for farmers who will be motivated to put back into production lands that have been abandoned for years and to reduce marginal agricultural areas;
- To create a network between different scientific, economic and social realities in order to provide technical assistance and genetic material to farmers in local production chains, to promote cultural aspects linked to processing and consumer awareness of foods with special nutraceutical characteristics.
- to Improve pest management and control and contain pathogenic adversities through seeds from populations adapted for organic and low-input farming;
- to maintain soil fertility by fostering a good structural state of the soil, with appropriate programming of rotations
- reducing (in the long run) the accumulation of pollutants in soil and water and promote carbon sequestration through more efficient organic and low-input farming systems
Improving the planning capacity of supply chains, thus reducing under-use of machinery
A further reduction of CO2 emissions into the atmosphere through the promotion of 0 km cereal supply chains c
From an operational point of view, this means:
- increasing crop diversity on farms and promoting CCP (Composite Cross Population) evolution and adaptation in different growing environments;
- developing the integrated seed production system of SOLIBAM TENERO FLORIDDIA, analysing the socio-economic aspects of an innovative seed system;
- enabling farmers to select and maintain their own CCPs in order to achieve stability of production yield, decrease production cost and increase farm income;
- improving food quality by testing products derived from CCPs where competition between genotypes and reduced nitrogen favour the increase of secondary metabolites (nutraceutical substances);
- increasing soil fertility with environmentally sustainable cultivation practices to improve soil structure and reduce energy inputs that increase CO2 emissions into the atmosphere.
RSR takes care of project coordination and monitoring activities by organising coordination meetings and internal animation, so that all partners can effectively cooperate and strengthen local networks. Our contribution to the project also includes the publication of information material and the organisation of public presentations, company visits and thematic meetings. Finally, we maintain relations with policymakers such as MiPAAF and CREA DC to update them on activities and results. Among the other partners, the University of Pisa deals with the economic sustainability of the innovation, including applying for seed authorisation and identifying the implications of seed management by farmers with an open source licence to ensure the widest possible access to potential users. The University of Florence, on the other hand, is engaged in the contextualisation in the different environments of Tuscany, and in particular on the aspects of the maintenance of the primary source of the SOLIBAM Floriddia population, the secondary adaptation at the 4 mother farms and the climatic analysis for the definition of the adaptation environments The project also includes the study of the quality of the flours and products: on the one hand, the evaluation of the rheological properties of flours and mycotoxins (at UNIFI laboratories); on the other hand, milling tests at Floriddia and Angeli mills, and bread, cracker, biscuit production tests evaluated by panel tests.
MIXWHEAT aims at adapting and disseminating the SOLIBAM TENERO LI ROSI population in the different Sicilian pedoclimatic environments in order to facilitate its adaptation to climate change in organic cereal farming. The protagonists will be the local networks of farmers who will contribute to the reproduction of seeds, managing their correct evolution over time, and to their diffusion, with the technical and scientific support of the project partners. The changes promoted by the project will have different impacts, from the farm level to the consumption of final products, affecting farmers and the whole organic cereal sector. The CCP of wheat SOLIBAM TENERO LI ROSI constitutes the core of the innovation to be tested with this Project through the evaluation of its adaptation in 4 climatic macro-areas (plain, hill, mountain and coast) in dedicated experimental fields (1 mother-farm and 5 daughter-farms for each macro-area) in order to have locally adapted seed to be distributed to a network of interested farmers, sensitised through appropriate demonstration actions. This innovation will bring diversity back to the organic or low input cereal sector, solving the problem of the lack of varieties suitable for these cropping systems and making Sicilian cereal farming more resilient to climate change. The innovation will be managed by farmers and disseminated under an open source licence to ensure the widest access by other users. The project phases
- assessment of local adaptation and multiplication of the CCP in the 4 macro-areas thanks to the network of mother and daughter farms;
production of quality seed in each macro-area to be distributed to local farmers in order to invest at least 20 ha per area;
- publication of guidelines for the evolutionary maintenance of CCPs;
- setting up of a Monitoring System that follows the evolution of CCPs in the 4 areas to provide technical support to farmers and information support to subjects interested in testing the finished products made;
- implementation of an APP for data collection by farmers participating in the innovation testing.
to increase crop diversity on farms and to foster the evolution and adaptation of CCPs to different growing environments
develop the integrated seed production system of SOLIBAM TENERO LI ROSI, analysing the socio-economic aspects of an innovative seed system;
enable farmers to select and maintain their own CCPs in order to achieve yield stability, decrease production cost and increase farm income;
improve food quality by testing products derived from CCPs where competition between genotypes and reduced nitrogen favour the increase of secondary metabolites (nutraceutical substances);
increasing soil fertility with environmentally sustainable cultivation practices to improve soil structure and reduce energy inputs that increase CO2.