In 2008, Ms. Antonella Rastrelli of Podere Midolla decided to apply Shumei Natural Agriculture to all 15 hectares of her farm. It was Mr. Marcello Dragoni, general manager of the Montalbano of Vinci oil mill (www.oliomontalbano.it), who first mentioned Shumei and Natural Agriculture to her back in February 2008. With his great knowledge of olive oil, especially the Tuscan variety, he has more than 2200 olive-growing members to the west of Florence.
In 2008, Shumei’s staff in Milan had asked him to find a kind-hearted olive grower and a suitable place for growing olives according to the Natural Agriculture method. Inspired by the philosophy, he then introduced Antonella to Shumei. Antonella’s natural olive oil was very successful, many would ask for it and there was never enough to satisfy the demand.
In 2013, Shumei formed partnership with Montalbano and then Mr. Dragoni started to involve more and more olive farmers in the Montalbano cooperative.
Azienda Agricola Vestri Terzilio
In October 2014, Ms. Manuela Vestri participated in a Shumei seminar in Florence. Inspired by the Natural Agriculture philosophy, she decided to practice Natural Agriculture on her grain near Arezzo, in the central-eastern part of Tuscany.
Before that she used to practice conventional farming, so it was a great change from that to the Natural Agriculture method for her whole farm of 12 hectares by the end of the year. Guided by “something invisible” through meeting with Shumei, she cultivated natural whole wheat of an old variety; crushed by stone in the traditional way, she even made tagliatelle with it
Furthermore she was registered as an owner of seeds of old local varieties according to the seed bank project promoted by the Tuscan Region. She told us that the change she experienced within herself after meeting with Shumei has been great, and she has been involving people around her in Natural Agriculture one by one, to share the philosophy with them.