Leone Bagolaro a young farmer raised in Damanhur shares his love of the earth and deep connection with spirit through his agricultural work, with a vision of creating a new world. 

“Often the guests at Prima Stalla, the WWOOFing volunteers, and sometimes television crews ask me what my relationship with spirituality is. Where do I find the time to pray, to do something different from the hard work that I carry out every day as a farmer.

First of all, I say that I don’t really “work.” I love to be out in the open air so much, to be in the sun or under the rain, to see the fruits growing in the greenhouses, walking through the four seasons, that I don’t feel like I am “working.” I feel privileged to have so much fun while earning a living.

When I was a child, I silently decided to become like my father, a farmer, watching a giant zucchini plant grow from a seed. This is the magic that opens up before me every day… Listening to the wind that blows in from the mountains bringing the scent of snow to me. Observing the flight of the birds and understanding in an instant the arrival of a summer storm. Understanding from the color of the clouds if and when it will hail.

I feel like I do the most beautiful work possible. We are always in very close contact with Life. The Life that pushes you to the edge but knows how to compensate for it with a glass of good wine or a slice of salami (rigorously produced in our community). I know every centimeter of the land that I cultivate, its character, and every time I work the land, I feel I am working on myself. I refine the real, practical, tangible sensitivity that brings me to decide what is best to plant, and to consider what might be the difficulties for the growing plants.

We are on a mission: healing the earth while we, as humanity, are destroying it. Raising strong, healthy cows without hormones, bringing tomatoes and vegetables to ripeness in an ever more unpredictable climate. In all this, I find my personal seeking of what you could call “God.” Isn’t it marvelous to watch oak buds swell until they explode into a leaf that will last until autumn? It is fundamental to rediscover the uniqueness of every season and follow their rhythms, if we want to be well ourselves.

The ideal that motivated me to take up a gardening hoe instead of a telephone in a call center is that I have the presumption (maybe because of my youthful age) of saving humanity, from hunger, waste and wars. If people would listen to the old farmers instead of politicians, there wouldn’t be wars and we would all have food to eat. You can even cultivate in the desert, but the ruling class has decided that it’s more useful to build bombs.

Why am I writing this? Because words don’t always get expressed as they could, emotions and trying to control them can create barriers at times. Lots of people around me speak excellent English, while I make do with what little I learned in high school. Also, I hope that someone will come someday and say, “I want to learn.” So, I am sending these words out into the ether, so, this person will come…

Leone Bagolaro