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Transforming Lives Through Permaculture in Italy: Playful Community Experiment at Casa Mascherone ๐ŸŒฑโœจ

The Arrival of the WWOOF Volunteers ๐ŸŒ

Five nature-loving artistic folk graced our permaculture project from the WWOOF network, volunteers in organic farm projects. The WWOOF (World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms) network connects volunteers with organic farmers to promote cultural and educational experiences based on trust and non-monetary exchange, thereby helping to build a sustainable global community. Our project, โ€œRinverdire Terra e Cuori alla Casa Mascherone,โ€ became their temporary home.

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They arrived from across the globe, each bringing their unique spark of magic. Gui, a Portuguese man whose soul intertwined with trees and nature. Maud, a Dutch lady who blended her love and care for nature and art seamlessly. Charlie from London, a brilliant artist and great communicator had us enthralled with his stories. And two warm-hearted Koreans, Moon and Kim, seeking inspiration from the natural world.

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Morning Rituals and Collective Healing ๐ŸŒ„๐Ÿง˜โ€โ™‚๏ธ

Every morning, we gathered for yoga, a practice that not only rejuvenated our spirits but also helped Moon recover from an old knee injury. His joy was palpable, and he was “over the moon.” Everyone gained more confidence and smiles beamed all round.

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Building a Flourishing Haven ๐ŸŒฟ๐Ÿก

Together, we poured three weeks of dedication into our project, transforming it into a flourishing haven. The sense of gratitude was overwhelming. Our days were filled with purpose. We cleared the garden, built new terraces, tied up grapevines, and enhanced our outdoor living spaces. We brought life to the vegetable patch and food forest with countless new plants. We weeded, cleaned, and mulched relentlessly. An electric fence was erected around the food forest. We gathered, dried, ground, and jarred sage and rosemary. We created a new walkway around the vegetable patch, pruned trees, and mulched some more.

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Connecting with the Wider World ๐ŸŒŠ๐ŸŒณ

Amidst all this hard work, we found time to connect with the world outside our project. We visited the lake, the river, the huge regional market, and even the nearby Buddhist monastery.

We cooked using the solar oven, relishing vegan meals rich with zucchini, beans, and salads from our garden. Each day was an adventure, each moment a step towards building a community, a family. We laughed, learned, and grew together. We played lots of silly games too!

Even Sara, my life companion, though initially worried about this experiment with all these people here, found herself embracing the joy and fulfilment it brought. Thank you, Gui, Maud, Charlie, Moon, and Kim!

Embracing Talents and Crazy Ideas ๐Ÿ’ก๐ŸŽจ

I’ve long known that my superpower is building groups, and this experience was yet another testament to that. I have a knack for recognizing peopleโ€™s talents and helping them flourish. Crazy ideas in the garden? We embraced them. And often, those ideas led to extraordinary outcomes. This sense of ownership and willingness to help in any situation was what made our group truly special.

Cultivating a Healthy Culture ๐ŸŒŸ๐Ÿง‘โ€๐Ÿคโ€๐Ÿง‘

We cultivated a healthy culture, a rarity in the working world. We achieved so much, yet everyone moved at their own pace. Trust, contribution, learningโ€”these were the pillars of our little community for the three weeks.

The sense that everyone would benefit from our efforts in the future was a powerful motivator. Our simple, nutritious meals fueled our bodies, and every evening we gathered in a circle, sharing our hearts and reflections on the day. Following The Circle Way, these moments were profoundly touching and deeply connected.

This is what true collaboration feels likeโ€”being fully present and living joyfully. Our experiment was a resounding success!

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If you into Permaculture and like to spend three or four weeks here please check out our wwoof profile.

Future Visions: More Sessions and Longer Retreats ๐ŸŒฟ๐Ÿ—“๏ธ

I’ve realised I would like to host more of these 3-4 week sessions throughout the year. Itโ€™s a chance for people to immerse themselves in permaculture, take a break from their daily lives, and perhaps discover new facets of themselves. Iโ€™ve always had a strong sense of ecology and together we are building a brilliant example of how we can work together and not against nature. Our group, filled with musicians and artists, showed me the beauty of diverse talents converging.

I also see the potential for longer retreats focused on yoga, meditation, and personal growth perhaps in July and August. Longer experiences allow us to delve deeper. I love longer experiences where we can dive in deep, like my recent 40-day solo journey in India. Weekend retreats have their place, but they barely scratch the surface and we return more or less the same as before. We donโ€™t always have time though (need to make it rather than finding it!)

Upcoming Event: The Playfulness Retreat ๐ŸŽ‰๐ŸŒž

Towards the end of the summer, I’ll be hosting a five-day retreat at Pianeta Verdeโ€”The Playfulness Retreat. It will be a wonderful way to regenerate, reconnect with our bodies, and perhaps fall in love with life all over again. Itโ€™s a community-focused summer camp for grown-ups. Join us from August 27 to September 1 for this rejuvenating experience.

More info click here: The Playfulness Retreat

Thatโ€™s all for now! ๐ŸŒŸ Anthony

More pics here in the Gallery!

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