Gaiole in Chianti (SI) – Toscana
Young farmer who, in an area of almost exclusive viticulture, makes an out-of-the-box choice, growing a wide range of crops using sustainable production methods on historic 15th-century terraces.Read more
La Scoscesa, a farm located among the hills of the municipality of Gaiole in Chianti, is characterized by soils with many limiting characteristics. These include a reduced power of organic and mineral horizons, caused by high rockiness and very pronounced surface stoniness: in fact, in some areas of the farm it is possible to see the limestone parent rock outcropping on the surface.
The farm soils are found to have low percentages of organic matter (around 1.2 percent), an alkaline pH of 8.3 and very limiting values of active limestone around 7800 g/kg.
BIODIVERSITY PROTECTION AND CROP DIVERSITY
This is a farm spread over nine hectares of totally terraced land, about half of which is covered by forested topsoil and half by agricultural crops. The young manager of the farm has been working to recover marginal and abandoned land and to optimize the space and techniques used, developing the rotation of promiscuous and complementary polycultures as an excellent solution to protect and increase animal and plant biodiversity. In fact, Lorenzo Costa cultivates more than 150 different edible plant species.
ELIMINATION OF CHEMICAL INPUTS
Through the agro-ecological approach and regenerative farming techniques, plant species are grown without the input of synthetic chemical inputs. In order to protect biodiversity and ecosystem health, organic fertilizers such as fermentates of different kinds, prepared using various plant species, salt, water and forest litter, are contributed to the soil, with the main objective of rebalancing the availability of nutrients, fungi and bacteria in the soil.
ORGANIC MATTER MANAGEMENT
Soil organic matter is implemented not only through the agronomic techniques used and variatal choice but also through on-farm biochar production, which is subsequently inoculated with fermentates and buried of the soil.
CREATION AND MANAGEMENT OF IRRIGATION BODIES
The extreme respect for naturalness and the ecosystem is also evidenced by the way Lorenzo Costa manages water resources, following the principles of “slow down, distribute, and infiltrate” (as mentioned by him in the podcast “Permacultura Con Te – Custodire l’acqua”); water management is essential to limit erosion on the farm soils that are 130 meters in elevation difference, not to waste the resource, and to channel it underground. In the farm’s nine hectares there are in fact 19 basins capable of holding a total of 190 thousand liters of water.
These basins are joined by a dense system of surface canals that, thanks to their limited slope of about 1 percent, guide and channel the water along preferential routes that avoid soil erosion and allow the infiltration of the water itself.
GLOBAL SYSTEM APPROACH
La Scoscesa is a reality perfectly integrated into the territory in which it is located: the choice of agronomic techniques, the management of soils and nutritional inputs and the control of water are the key aspects that highlight a deep respect for the environment and sustainability.
There is also a link to the traditions of the area: Lorenzo Costa is recovering the 15th-century dry stone walls.