Podere 101 is a young project founded in 2020 by the brothers Tommaso and Caterina Lenzi, respectively 20 and 24 years old, in the Bolognese countryside. The project was born from the desire to do something concrete to fight climate change, placing sustainability and respect for nature at the center of every action.
The drought of this Italian summer is one of the main consequences of this change; to give an example, in 2022 in Emilia-Romagna agricultural production decreased by 10% (source: Coldiretti). The production system is more and more fragile and unsustainable. Furthermore, the lack of resources and the war are showing us that we can no longer rely only on technology, on fertilizers, on this model of agriculture.
Here comes Podere 101. Their intervention are based on the observations and studies of what happens in the most resilient and fertile ecosystems: biodiversity.
In concrete terms, in addition to the breeding of bees and chickens and a vegetable and fruit garden, Podere 101 is working on agroforestry, which began in January 2022. The operation is called the Biodiversity Project. The project sees the creation of rows of trees and hedges on the boundaries of the fields which, combined with the rotation of the pastures, can make the Podere countryside a resilient and hospitable place for insects, small mammals and birds.
It’s not just about planting trees but which species, how to maintain them and ensure their growth. In this specific case Tommaso, who takes care of the green design, has identified 5-meter bands in which lateral rows of shrubs protect the central vein, made up of trees. The species have been identified by various factors such as their positioning in line with the sunlight, the composition of the land of the Podere, the climate. The benefits of this operation are many, especially for places characterized by intensive monocultures:
- an increase in biodiversity
- better storage of CO2
- new plant species favors the presence of different pollinators that find new nectar and pollen
- natural windbreak barriers, essential to guarantee a good wheat harvest, especially in the presence of extreme climatic events
- better water absorption capacity and therefore a less drought-prone soil
- soil biodiversity, that is, an immense world of fungi, bacteria and microorganisms that guarantee the health of the environment and soil fertility
The Biodiversity Project is forward-looking and shows the courage of these young people who try to find sustainable solutions to contemporary problems, learning from nature.
The action of Podere 101 doesn’t end here, all the projects are shared, explained and communicated on their social media – Caterina takes care of this part. On Youtube, it’s possible to find several tutorials that explain, for example, how to create a vertical vegetable garden, an insect house, a mobile chicken coop, and so on. Tommaso and Caterina want to make us part of their sustainable lifestyle, to make us fall in love with nature and create awareness.
In addition to the retail sale of honey, “colored” eggs and products of the earth, Podere 101 offers the possibility of adopting one or three trees, depending on the donation you want to make. A way to support this beautiful initiative from a distance. Podere 101 is an example of good practices, but above all a presence for the protection of the territory.