Hands on the ground
Publish date 18-12-2021
Since June we have started a new "experiment" at the Arsenale dell'Incontro. We wanted to try to take a step further in remote professional training activities and in particular in agriculture, offering young people a more specific path that would help to keep trained all those skills that they have learned and practiced over the years. Thus was born the idea of proposing an additional weekly online meeting dedicated to agriculture, held here in the Arsenale by a teacher and the agricultural expert who has been collaborating with us for years and followed from home by the boys.
We started looking for simple ideas that could be made with recycled material or easily available materials and with the help of parents or some brother or sister.
We tried to understand what the "agricultural resources" were and we found that almost all the children have a garden in their homes, some land on which to cultivate or - at worst - a balcony on which to put pots. The prerequisites for this new adventure were all there and so we started! In recent months we have grown mint in 5-liter plastic bottles that can be placed directly in the kitchen; we planted the potatoes in plastic buckets; we have seen together how to best irrigate the plants in our gardens, how to notice if they are sick or have specific needs; we made compost; with the help of our buses we sent the polystyrene containers and the seeds to everyone's home to make the seedlings to be transplanted in the garden ... in short, everything and more! Agriculture has proved to be an excellent opportunity to meet because it fascinates and involves not only children but also their families. In addition, it also gets busy beyond the online meeting because it is up to the kids to continue taking care, bathing, removing the grass ... for us it was an opportunity to revive the online program and a new surprise: to see the '' enthusiasm of the boys busy each in his garden, receive their videos showing us proud the progress of their achievements and experience that this working together really makes you go beyond the screen and feel closer than ever, all with your hands in the same ... Earth.
Now we have another step ahead of us: try to make everyone at home and here in the Arsenale a garden-vegetable garden in which to grow aromatic herbs, seasonal vegetables and succulents, all with the same scheme, in order to help us each other. And it's nice to think that in everyone's home there will be a green corner that looks like the Arsenale and here at the Arsenale a green corner that looks like a corner of our kids' house ... it will be a new invitation for us to bring Arsenale style also in the life outside here and to let the world enter more and more here in our home.
Arsenal of the Encounter
NP August / September 2021