So much time has passed since my last post! These have been rich, intense months, intense in all senses. In these months I have had a bit of a negative reaction to screens and I have retired away to a more natural life. Even if you visit our blog and it seems that we are in a period of inactivity, I promise you that it has never been so intense! The Country Living School has always remained open and we have so many visitors, many internships and volunteers that have come through here this year. Our volunteers, the guests who the fuel that drives our school and in this moment during the pandemic, many have come to us to learn how to change their lifestyle. More and more people are taking on the decision to live more sustainably, changing their lifestyle from one founded on quantity to one based on quality. We live in a period that is very unstable, where all of our certainties, our foundations have fallen and it seems our hopes for the future have been cheated and looking around us it seems the only thing that has remained the same is nature. In reality, even nature is changing quickly but surely not as fast as the changes have been in our lives during the last two years.
Nature has returned to be the central focus of life for many, a growing movement, often ignored because it doesn’t produce monetary profit, is returning to its roots, to the miracle of planting a seed and watching it grow. For this reason the Country Living School has been so active and happy to share its knowledge with people determined to create a solid alternative for themselves: self sufficiency. Even on a regional level there have been many special moments of sharing and a greater effort in reciprocal assistance and the exchange of goods and services between the realities that are producing their own stuff and are working daily to protect the territory where they live.
Certainly there hasn’t been a lack of difficult moments either where everything seemd to be falling to pieces and where even gargantuan efforts have been swept away in a couple of hours. I am principally speaking about the fires that devastated our island this summer and the many farms that were destroyed. We could feel the heat and the lack of oxygen although we were fortunate to have avoided damage in our nearby area. The feeling of desperation helped me understand better what those in Brazil, California and beyond have experienced in these recent years. It was truly a sad moment but it was also the turning point for the creation of new networks of sharing and solidarity that were activated and still continue today.
Our fields this year gave us the food we needed but the production was inferior to other years. It’s sad to admit it but drought isn’t just an occasional event any more here it has become the norm. From summer all the way to October, not even a drop of water and the hot desert wind, scirocco was always blowing hard.
The bees also suffered loses during the summer period. Queens for some reason were not able to mate and I was left with with numerous orphaned families that I wasn’t able to save. I did some research, interviewing other bee keepers discovering that this is a problem that is affecting many beekeepers and many of us are at loss because nothing works like the manual anymore. Bees are suffering for real, each year it seems to get worse and worse. My only consolation is that we are surrounded by beekeepers that have bees in their heart and that are doing the impossible to assure them a minimal level of well-being.
This year we completed the construction of our exhibition space veranda, so much work went into this, using for the most part chestnut wood from local forests and manpower from friends and volunteers. Thanks to this new building the School is acquiring new spaces to be together, a decent roof for our wood oven, tools and our firewood. We hope soon to put on the finishing touches on what will be our new exhibition space where visitors can eat, work and experiment during their time here.
Here’s to a good 2022 for everyone! Come and check out the CLS for yourself in beautiful Sardinia and keep up with us on the blog, website and social media.