I am a city girl and knew nothing of farming until I bought two baby goats (on a complete whim) to eliminate (by eating) all the poison ivy in my suburban Maryland backyard. (Which they did.) You can read about it here: sierra_club_article
Now, years later, I am an environmental scientist who just left, dropped out (to use an aging hippie reference) to grow food and beauty, simply, with no expense, in a walled hill-town in Umbria. I’m a dirt farmer, an alchemist, turning waste into compost–straw into gold. I save seeds, I make my soil, and then the plants pretty much care for themselves. We grow much of our food, raise chickens and ducks, and have a small olive grove for oil. I’m educated in science but I credit Mother Nature with any success. Slowly we are changing over our dependence on fossil fuel to an off-grid semi-survivalist life style. We heat with our own wood, while working on systems to capture our water and compost all our waste.
As to why I am now in Italy? Lets say that a sense of adventure and a quest for old timey farming practices brought us to the Italian breadbasket. George Bush and the continuing ostrich-like environmental policies of the U.S. certainly helped push us overseas. But after six years here, I am very comfortable with small town life, where I can walk everywhere, really eat locally-grown food, and still train into Rome or Florence for the day when I am seized with a momentary need for big city culture.
2013 Suzanna Gallina