The key objectives of Orti del Biellese, a project part of Nova Coop’s Sapori Biellesi curated by the associations Let Eat Bi, Harambee, White Rabbit Event and BiCiclo Social Cooperative, are to recover abandoned lands, grow fruit and vegetables using natural and sustainable techniques, generate beauty. The initiative is as simple as it is effective and aims at combining solidarity and sustainability on two parallel fronts. How does it work? As reported in our previous article, by taking advantage of the service you can receive a box of seasonal and organic fruit and/or vegetables from local social gardens delivered to your home or workplace every week. The process that leads to growing and consuming the products is ethical and responsible from several points of view: by buying the box you will support the Biellese territory, by buying “from farm to mouth”, in fact, you reduce the ecological footprint; there are benefits to the soil too, since organic farming does not impoverish it; the role of abandoned lands is also important, which are reclaimed and made safe through the initiative; finally, of fundamental importance is the help given to people in economic and social difficulties involved in this project, also thanks to the volunteers.
Between sustainability and solidarity
Sustainability and solidarity, we were saying. Sustainability because the people managing the project ensure that the products are grown naturally with the aim of creating a new model of ethical agriculture. They do not in fact use chemical fertilizers: the soil is enriched by following crop rotation techniques and using nitrogen plants. Also, the people who work on the crops scrupulously observe the cycles of nature and irrigate the land exclusively by collecting rainwater in accumulation tanks for drip irrigation, thus eliminating waste. Solidarity because the project employs a number of people in conditions of fragility, which generates both sociality and economies; not only that, anyone who wishes can be part of the group of volunteers working the land (for information, you can call 335.1892666).
Orti del Biellese’s activity follows the rhythm of the seasons, deliveries will therefore continue until December. The variety of vegetables, fruits, aromas and flavours contained in the boxes differs from week to week depending on the harvest and on elements that might affect the crop, such as weather conditions. Everything is then delivered to your home or work address throughout the province of Biella (free delivery within 3 km from Biella’s Baptistery, € 5 per box between 3 and 7 km away, € 7 over 7 km). From September, you’ll also be able to collect your own box from Orto 133 in Via Monte Piazzo. Here is a reminder of the monthly costs: 68 euros for 4 boxes (one a week), seasonal registration reduces the costs to 65 euros per month or 10% discount with advance payment.
An open day presenting the project in details has also been organised for Sunday 12th September for those who want to discover the people who animate the project and the space that houses Orto 133.
Armona Pistoletto’s comment
“After a few months, I am happy to be able to announce that the project is working and that we are now giving the option to collect the boxes directly from Orto 133 every Thursday from 2:00 pm to 7:00 pm – said Armona Pistoletto, president of Let Eat Bi, – the plot is called ‘Orto 133’ (a name coined by Mauro Lombardi of Harambee, in charge of the farming) because from via Monte Piazzo you reach the vegetable garden – where 70% of the vegetables in the boxes come from – climbing the 133 steps of a beautiful path surrounded by greenery. The plot is in Biella and immersed in nature. Apart from the people who suspended their deliveries because they went away on holiday, – she concluded, – those who started buying the boxes in May have continued using the service and this, so far, is the best response we could expect”.