"Riccagioia 28" is an organic commercial farm in Pavia, Emilia Romagna, which was established by a fifty-eight-year-old woman who had to find a way to re-invent herself after she lost her job. "I turned the page when I was forty, as I lost my job because of the crisis. I was alone and my survival instinct pushed me to go beyond what I had lost. I therefore decided to "re-invent" myself: I started from what I had left- a piece of land and the memories of my grandmother," explains Rosella Fantucchio.

"I followed a gardener course at the Scuola Agraria del Parco di Monza, took internships in various nursery gardens and eventually became a tutor. I was busy doing this until I was 58 and then it all changed, as I became an entrepreneur. After all, I had cultivated my own land for 17 years, so why not challenge myself?" 

And this is how the story of Rosella starts for the third time, as she went back to her roots: farmer by choice- the third millennium "exodus" due to the crisis and the need to go back to land as sustenance.

"During my third start, I transplanted what I remembered about the countryside from when I was little in the only "land" that could provide a sustainable future despite my age and the "depression" in my area. In June, my company was born - which I refer to as a big plot with a VAT no. - after two years during which I collected all of the useful information to deal with bureaucracy, as it can crush even the most tenacious of dreamers."

Rosella's story is re-born between organic greenhouses for the cultivation of vegetables (beets, cucumbers, green beans, radishes, spinach, courgettes), leaf vegetables (Swiss chard, spinach, puntarella, salad) and culinary herbs. There is one single mission: "provide the chance to eat seasonal products cultivated with the same care my grandma used in her own plot." The objective is based on the strength of a woman, bio-diversity, short supply chain, respect for the environment and high quality.

"Soon, I will start selling the produce to a selected network according to my production potential and the value of my product range, which I will base on seasonality and on spontaneous local herbs like dandelion and nettle. My main contacts will be CSA buying groups as they put the solidarity and saving aspect at the centre, which means relations with producers, the surrounding environment and agri-food traditions."

It is the perfect example of how it is not the market that decides the role of farmers, but instead the communities decide to recognize what they deserve to promote new relations and salvaging territories and cultural outlooks.

"My new job is first and foremost a lifestyle. It is centered not so much on finding a way to make ends meet, but rather on the search for a respectable balance with nature and my own roots."

Riccagioia 28

di Rosella Fantucchio
Loc. Riccagioia 28
27037 Pieve del Cairo (PV)
Cell.: +39 335 7461691
Email: info@riccagioia28.it
Web: www.riccagioia28.it