Car park to care crop at FICO

Fico Eataly World is the largest agri-food park in the world. Even the original car park is green, being transformed from a concrete jungle into a biodynamic meadow.

FICO, in Bologna Italy is an interactive, experiential center that teaches us of all ages about food and biodiversity. I was very lucky to have Carlo Triarico, President of the Association for Biodynamic Agriculture in Italy as my private teacher.

Fico Eataly World is the largest agri-food park in the world.

Carlo works to help biodynamic farms and the health of all other farms.

Carlo is the ‘green thumb’ transforming the concrete areas around FICO into thriving biodynamic meadows.

As we walked past the food and produce stalls of local eco artisans, Carlo explained his involvement in this complex that was designed to create a way for all generations to connect with the food we eat and where it comes from in our agricultural world.

Why is biodynamics so important to you?

“It is the first form of biodynamic agriculture. It’s from the very beginning, over one century old. Yet it is modern. It’s the agriculture of today too. We need it.” Carlo Triarico

The meadows are currently under construction but the future looks bright. Even after one plant cycle the land is returning to life as a nutrient dense, micro-organism filled soil. When you compare it to the soil of an untreated area the difference is unmistakable.

Pre biodynamics:

The compacted soil is like clay. Moss even grows on it as it sees the soil more like a rock than as fertile soil. The colour of the grass is patchy and burnt with the use of fertilizers and chemicals.

With biodynamics:

The biodynamic field is a sea of vibrant greens. Butterflies, bees and insects are abundant and the soil falls apart to touch into mini balls of soil and loose fibers which allows the earth to breathe.

Butterflies, bees and insects were everywhere

It was incredible to see the direct value of biodynamics and biodiversity at work. And inspirational to see just how quickly nature can heal itself if we just give it a little natural helping hand. By managing the soil with biodynamic methods I could see the change of the soil and the colours of the plants – the two fields couldn’t be more different.

This was a hugely inspirational for me – that we can make a positive change, quickly.

“Together, we are a lot of people. We can help this world with such small things.” Carlo Triarico

What can we do to be biodynamic at home?

“We need to think of quality not quantity. This is a cultural problem also. We need it to be possible for everyone to have access to good quality food and good products for all aspects of life.

I think the most important thing we can do at home now is to be that person who helps agriculturalists. If we choose the right products, they help that person. And, also our world.

Buying these products say “We are with you. We want to sustain you. And this is the possibility for each and every person to support eco agriculture in this way.” Carlo Triarico

WIth my biodynamic agriculture teacher, Carlo Triarico at FICO

The Weleda journey has taught me so much – to not choose for convenience but with consciousness. And to ask myself before buying… what is the real cost of this item? Not just to me but to the planet.

“FICO is a great example of how we can have good products. With economy. At the same time, save our health and the health of our planet.” Carlo Triarico

I’m getting philosophical now, but I really am feeling that most times what is ‘cheap’ we have to pay a very large price for in the end. The more I learn now, the more I want to learn. Gone are the days where I was daunted by how big these issues were, my small my knowledge was and my fear making me think… but what can I do, as only one person.

I’m learning that I, we, can do some much. And I’m excited about learning new ways of how I can improve and lighten my impact. I am no where near perfect, but my head is no longer in the sand. I want to take responsibility for my role and do what I can to leave the world better than I found it.

What do you do to leave the world in a better place?