ORGANIC LAVENDER FARM AND AGRITURISMO IN MAREMMA TUSCANY

I HAVE ALWAYS FOLLOWED MY HEART AND MY PASSIONS, IN PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS

I WAS BORN IN MILAN, BUT FROM AN EARLY AGE I DREAMED OF LIVING ON A FARM IN THE COUNTRY

I was born in the late 1960s on the eighth floor of a grey building in downtown Milan to a multi-ethnic family. My mother is Pakistani and my father was from Florence.

In elementary school I was lucky enough to read Italo Calvino’s “Marcovaldo,” and it was love at first “sight”. Since then, just like the book’s protagonist, I daydreamed about finding nature in the city, and eventually being able to live in the countryside, in close contact with plants, animals, and insects. But the countryside is only one of my many passions…

ANCIENT EGYPT, HIEROGLYPHIC WRITING, AND A PASSION FOR MULTIPOTENTIALITY

Another great passion of mine (I have many, mind you) is philosophy, the mind, ancient Egypt, and hieroglyphic writing. I’ve always been fascinated by multipotentiality and multi-sensoriality, the richness of signs. And finding connections between distant subjects is my great specialty.

I have studied the connections of hieroglyphic writing with philosophy, both at the State University of Milan with a thesis in theoretical philosophy on Derrida and hieroglyphic writing, and then in Paris with a specialization and a doctorate (which I did not finish, however). I also worked in archaeological missions in Luxor (Egypt), and Sovana, here in Maremma.

Then, I found the same multipotentiality I deeply loved about hieroglyphic writing in lavender.

THE COURAGE TO START FROM SCRATCH, TO BUILD MY DREAM AND LIFE PROJECT

When I moved here to Podere Argo more than 20 years ago I didn’t have very clear ideas, I only knew that I wanted to live in the countryside in close contact with nature, that I wanted to learn how to cultivate the land, self-produce my own food, my own cosmetic and home products, but I had no clue how I was going to do it.

The idea of starting from scratch, after studying at the most important universities in Europe, didn’t scare me; in fact, it excited me so much. I would spend my nights studying and researching (again!) and during the day I would learn how to be a mom to two beautiful little girls, and to many animals, and how to be a farmer.

Lavender, which I loved since I was a little girl, was the undisputed star of my vision board. The six lavender plants around the farmhouse, were the first plants I planted here. And they were the beginning of my story of love, research, study, discovery, and passion for this magical and in my opinion still very underrated plant…

FROM 6 TO 600 PLANTS, THE TROUBLED BIRTH OF MY ORGANIC LAVENDER FIELD

I had to wait a several years before I had the courage to create my own lavender field. It seemed too beautiful, too big, and too impossible a dream, and so I kept it tightly shut and hidden in a drawer. In the meantime, however, I had opened my certified organic farm, become an agricultural entrepreneur, raised bees, and made honey, cultivated a synergic vegetable garden, and legumes, and hosted people from all over the world in Casa del Sole, the only house I rent and had lovingly renovated in my farmhouse.

Finally in 2012 I made up my mind, took advantage of a grant from the European Community and planted my organic officinal lavender field. I started from scratch again, improvising and without any help because no one was growing lavender here.

Due to a bureaucratic error, I risked losing everything (I recount this traumatic event in my chapter of the international best-selling book “When Women Heal” which I wrote in collaboration with 15 other women). I was thus forced to bring out the best in me to build my new lavender business brick after brick, with significant effort and dedication.

"ADOPT AN ORGANIC LAVENDER", THE INITIATIVE THAT GOT ME OFF THE GROUND

As you may have guessed, the beginnings were far from easy, so much so that I was about to give up everything because in the meantime I had separated from my partner, and found myself alone, with two very young daughters, on an isolated farm in Maremma, with no help and paltry earnings.

In April 2016, thanks to an epiphany, I launched the initiative that would change my life forever, “Adopt an organic lavender.” This idea was born out of my desire to share the joy and happiness of my new life with lavender, I wanted to share with those who didn’t have the opportunity, the emotions, and stories behind a lavender farm. I wanted to share a piece of my field and my happiness.

This initiative, which I had given little value to, instead became so successful, giving me so much visibility, especially thanks to the two interviews with Fabio Volo on “Volo del Mattino” on Radio Deejay to which I will be forever grateful.

Since then, my company has started to grow, with my organic product line, workshops, and experiences here at the company and around Italy. I also wrote the e-book “The Lavender Revolution,” to share everything I had learned about the multipotentiality, efficacy, and versatility of lavender to heal us and live a life rich in wellness, beauty, and happiness. My lavender had begun to take off.

FROM AGRICULTURAL ENTREPRENEUR TO DIGITAL ENTREPRENEUR AND LAVENDER COACH

By now I had many customers and guests, a successful and high-quality organic lavender product line, good earnings, and I could have stopped there. But I wanted more, and I was not satisfied, so I started investing in training by learning from the greatest international experts in online business and marketing to grow further. I wanted to live a life on my own terms as a mom and entrepreneur, a life aligned with my values and desires. I wanted a rich life for me and my daughters, one that would also allow me to travel, go on vacations, and have beautiful experiences with my family. And to do that I needed to grow and evolve further.

In 2018 I switched to online, first with the Shop, and then becoming a lavender coach through my online courses and services. After experiencing the many benefits of a lavender business first-hand, I decided to help other women realize their projects. So, my business has continued to grow, from one person, me, to a team of three women working for me, as well as some external consultants. And we are continuously growing and expanding with new projects, new services, and new products. Keep following me!

MY VALUES

  • I believe in respect and love for Mother Earth, and her natural cycles, and I believe in organic farming.
  • I believe in the beauty of simple things, and that everything, even the smallest, is enlightened.
  • I believe that every person, from the youngest to the oldest, has the right to get their hands dirty with soil, to walk barefoot in the grass, to sow seeds, to plant a tree, to grow and care for a plant or an animal, at least once in their life.
  • I believe that we must take the first step to make this world a better place. Let us, first, begin to embody the change we want to see in the world.
  • I believe that Fantasy is a place where we get rained on, where the sun shines hot and strong and the Earth laughs.
  • I believe in the bursting power of music and dance, and that there is always a good reason to dance, cheer and celebrate life.
  • I believe that happiness is meaningful only if it is shared.
  • I believe in the warmth of welcome and hospitality.
  • I believe that there is always a good reason to be grateful for life and that the best way to start and end a day is with a THANK YOU.
  • I believe that less is more, and that true wealth is to be found within ourselves and not outside.
  • I believe in the importance of dreams, especially those made with open eyes, an open heart, and full of passion.
  • But most of all I believe in that magical force that is Love, Love with a capital A, a powerful, universal, and selfless energy.
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