The history of an idea,

the idea of a history

The history of an idea...

 

An idea... this is really the right term, sometimes ideas run in our minds as do desires and..why not .. dreams!

Often thoughts are confusing, they buzz and buzz and stay in the mind. They are desires, dreams of which we know they will never come true. Anyway, the fact of having them in mind is something we like, they make us live. They pursue us, we wonder how they could be realized. We carry our ideas with us for many years. We were born and raised in the countryside in a family which have been farmers for many generations.

In the past, being children of people whose principal work was working the soil, was reason to feel somehow inferior, sort of discriminated and even shame. In all honesty, we were always proud of it, we were never ashamed to say that Dad was a farmer or that we, since we were small kids, went to help out on the fields in our free time.

We have always told ourselves: “if someone doesn't understand the beauty of the land, the mystery which lies in the simplicity of sowing a seed of wheat and, in the following months, see the development of life, then this isn't our problem, it's definitely their problem.”

There's life in the soil, life comes from the soil, we all come from there.

In times of modern technology, internet, computers, last generation phones, satellites and many other things we all know more or less, the soil is always there, it doesn't care about our modern way of living, our presumed “superiority”.

The soil continues to live e produce life in its simplicity, sometimes it rebels but like a Mum it continues to give us its crop, it gives us unique flavors.

 

The idea of a history

 

Our idea: try to pass on those values. Simple values of farming civilization. There comes the idea of a history... thirty, fifty or a hundred years ago, almost all bakers had habitual clients who bought their bread once or twice a week. People bought their bread always at the same bakery and it always was the same kind of bread. They stopped for a chat with the baker who, maybe, told them about the quick fermentation or how difficult the actual flour was to work.

Fifty, a hundred years ago, almost all bakers knew the millers who ground the flours personally, they were made according to the taste and the requirements of the baker. Grinding was a crucial process in bread making. The baker explained the miller how he wanted his flour ground giving precise instructions on quantity of bran and wheat germs it had to contain as well as on the times of flour storage.

A hundred years ago, almost all millers knew the farmers personally, the ones who produced their wheat and spelt they were then bound to mill. From the farmers they learned all there was to know about the quality of the grains of wheat, rye, spelt, corn, all they were about to reduce in flour. The millers knew that if during the year the crop had been damaged, if during growth the plants had suffered too much cold or heat, they also knew which relationship there was between quantities produced in that year and the one of previous years. Thirty, fifty or a hundred years ago, this chain of personal relationships connected the consumer who went to buy his bread and stopped to chitchat, to the baker, the miller and even the farmer.

This is history. Recent if we want, but it seems we all have forgotten. If we try to ask our children where the bread comes from and how it's made, guess how many will answer?

Our idea is to assemble all phases of the production of a loaf of bread in a unique and visible process made by a farming company. From the seed of grain, from storage to harvest, from milling with old methods like natural millstones to bread making with yeast and oven baking.

That's when an idea starts to move from the brain to paper, with a simple plan where all work phases are fixed.

Optimizing collocation and space at the maximum has taken a long time, often straying in the dark because nobody had ever done a thing like this before. Space, measures, machinery collocation, the search for the machines by now abandoned and many other issues too long to list here.

That's when we proposed our idea to the local administration because we needed to build a new farm annex where we could develop our idea: the farmer who produces his flour with his wheat, bakes it and sells it to the final customer.

The working process becomes so much shorter when one puts the consumer with the land, yes with the land, that was the idea which made us start. Together with the enthusiasm to make ancient tradition revive  and transfer their fascination. This is why a short work process gives the farmer economic opportunity.

Our local administration welcomed our idea and understood it was good not only for our farm but for the fact that this would be the first municipality in Umbria to develop a project of this kind.

Bureaucratic itinerary starts like the technical project of a rural development plan. Our intention was to hurry through the process, avoiding encountered obstacles, long time of record elaboration which were simple and elementary but, like people say, they are part of the game. Once everything approved, on January 11th, 2011, we started building the farm annex.

The fascination and enthusiasm we had being the first ones in our territory is a reason of pride for us which keeps us going every day, facing problems over problems. But it adds a note of adventure to our project, an ambitious adventure, hard to reach.

The creation of the didactic farm is intended for trying to communicate  our origin, the flavors of gone times, often forgotten, and simplicity which long time farmers like us have in our minds to kids as well as adults.

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