The Mandria Regional Park is within a protected area managed by the Piedmont Region Metropolitan Parks Authority. Since 2010, with the implementation of the second variant of the area plan (here),
all municipalities located around the Park have to implement in their programs and statutes, not only the technical regulations but also the new geographical boundaries of the park.
A fairly good number of micro-enterprises (family-run and not) invested in agricultural activities focusing on quality production, embracing the territory’s treasures and historical heritage.
One example among many is the development of ten amateur and professional beekeeping companies, with an average age below 48 years.
An actual renovation, which rests on fertile ground provided by the teachings of great experts like Emilio Rolle, Bonci, and in my case Virgilio Pagliai (born in 1930).
Drawing example from the recent Stupinigi Fertile project, we are dealing with an enormous protected area, which goes from the foothills to the Ceronda and to the plains of the Park. Hectares of woods and real meadows, where deer, wolves and boars still roam free. The Park is a fantastic symbol of harmony and biodiversity, and bees valorise it... Why shouldn’t we do that too? One year ago I started a project to create a centre of quality products and honeys in the Mandria Park.
Currently, some of our beekeepers are already proficient enough that they won awards in several occasions. This should not be a surprise: I met them one by one and I can claim they work well. But we do have an advantage: we have a wonderful natural area at our disposal.
Thanks to the Biodiversity project of SlowFood Turin’s convivium, and thanks to the person in charge of it, Luca Miserere, our dandelion-cherry and acacia honeys have entered the Ark of Taste and the Salone del Gusto (2014).
The project’s cornerstone is self assertion: we have honey, bees forage the flowers in the Park, people appreciate our honey; in its history the Park witnessed beekeeping activities, even not recently, and to the present day.
What glues the project together is a quality policy document, which attunes the best principles of:
We are working with Architect Graziella Roccella Ph.D., from the Smartfood project, to create and develop the aforementioned centre, including didactic activities within its walls and the architectural restoration – already underway – of some farms located within the Park, respecting the historical heritage of the area.
The term “respect” is often used improperly, but when using the word we don’t merely include a behaviour which is subjective, exquisitely free, arbitrary (thus not measurable!). In order for Food to be Smart, it has to be the result of choices through which the enterprises plan their spaces, their workers, their buildings. A settlement can also lead to improvements if we complement it with virtuous practices for the recovery and reuse of energy (biomasses) and manufacturing waste. In this way we benefit the enterprise without compromising the balance of the surrounding territory.
The Mandria Park producers centre does not aim to represent a heterogeneous group of farmers, it seeks to be a symbol of the true wealth of the Park. A guarantee for whoever chooses to eat or smell its products of excellence.