The Monastery of Siloe: An Organic Farming Stronghold
The Monastery of Siloe is located high on a hill overlooking the Maremma region, not far from Mount Amiata and the Val d’Orcia, in the province of Grosseto, between Poggi del Sasso and Paganico. The monks here have created a small organic farm, in full compliance with environmental ethics.
The Benedectine Monastery of Siloe was established twenty years ago in the town of Poggi del Sasso (Grosseto), not too far from Paganico. The monks here have created a small organic farm, where oil, wine, cereals, legumes, chilli peppers, saffron and honey are produced in full compliance with environmental ethics. A particular effort has been made to save and revive ancient and varieties, as is the case for Triticum turanicum
, an ancient grain type of durum wheat of Mesopotamian origin, also known as Khorasan wheat
. Oil is made with Frantoiano
, Tuscan Maremma’s three main olive cultivars. The efforts to protect plans from extinction comprise the Ciliegiolo
grape variety, the black chickpea, the saffron of Maremma and fourteen varieties of chilli peppers, either local or from all over the world.
- In addition to their being organically farmed, all products are handled manually so as for them to preserve their taste and characteristics. One of the leading principles of the farming methods at the Monastery is the respect for biodiversity and natural resources. Crop rotation is the practice of growing different types of crops in the same area in sequenced seasons. It helps in preserving animal and plant diversity and increases soil fertility.
Organic and green manure
- Fields are fertilised exclusively by means of organic or green manure, which is obtained by sowing alfalfa, clover or leguminous plants in the autumn, and ploughing them under and incorporating them into the soil in the spring. Green manure adds beneficial bacteria and nitrogen to the soil. This enriches the soil, allowing the subsequent plants to grow bigger and stronger.
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