We don’t inherit the earth

Every time I hear someone speak poetically or idyllically about wine and farming, I smile.
My smile is one that stems from bitterness and grows from a knowledge that has developed over the seven years that I have been engaged in an investment that sees me invested on every front.
As for the idealized image of the farmer who tastes wine in his homestead overlooking the rolling hills, I am always skeptically puzzled. Of course, there are farmers who have inherited their land and maybe also have a homestead and maybe they’re not really farmers, but the old families of great companies and huge agricultural estates.

In the Maremma, many small owners inherited land from their parents, but these same parents were sharecroppers, who received the land from Ente Maremma after the war. I think it was a good decision that among other things protected the aesthetic and natural value of the territory, which was not abandoned like so many other places in Italy.
But the reality is that this land has never been enough to live on. To appease the hunger, yes, to have a roof overhead, yes, but never enough to pay the bills, taxes and children’s education. After all that, the farmer must still work for others. 

I became a ‘farmer’ seven years ago, when La Maliosa was born. I am a farmer who lives in Milan, who doesn’t hoe the ground. I am an entrepreneur, but I’m not any less of a farmer.
Because if this soil, after being abandoned for decades, is reborn, is alive and continues to prosper, providing wonderful products with a gratitude that surprises every day, it’s the fruit of my labor and my initiative. I know that might sound pigheaded, but anyone who knows me knows that I am proud to have returned to the surrounding territory a healthy and wholesome ecosystem, thanks to my decision to use biodynamic farming. But what is the key to living off land you haven’t inherited?

The soil must produce riches for those who own it, those who work on it and everyone in the surrounding territory, otherwise it will remain a dream and like all dreams, end with a very rude awakening.
The company will need to increase production, create new services and the team will need to grow together.
La Maliosa has taken up a challenge and wants to beat it. If we succeed, everyone wins.

Antonella Manuli

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