Hi! We are Silvia and Robbert, founders of a non-profit Yoga Eco Farm based in the Italian town of Otranto. Our main goals are regenerating ecosystems, inspiring people to follow their most uplifting and loving inner voice, and raising awareness about these topics.
Following the principles of Yoga and Permaculture, we believe that positive impact and change starts from the bottom up, inspiring citizens and consumers to live a more eco-conscious and mindful lifestyle. Grass root movements are already happening all over the world, and despite corrupted politics and mass media we are making a difference, but we need your support to continue and get to the next level!
Why we need your support?
During the last two years we have invested significant time, money and sweat into renovating, developing and maintaining our baby yoga eco farm: we planted a food forest, renovated the stone tiny house, and offered workshops and classes to inspire people to be the change we want to see in this world. We are very excited about making this dream come true, but there is still a lot of work to be done!
- Help us plant more food forests and thousand more plants and trees in our area, increasing biodiversity and recreating the abundant ecosystems that were once here, for the benefit of all, people and earth.
- Help us finish the renovation of the structures in our land so that we can host more people like you and spread more awareness in an environment that is beautiful, comfortable and at the same time completely sustainable and in harmony with nature. A retreat for all.
- Help us hire a team of professionals to achieve our goals faster and create more positive impact in our local and international community through a program of inspiring events, workshops and classes. You can be part of this too!
We believe in transparency and we are committed to offering regular updates on social media of the results that we'll be able to achieve with your donations!
Let's get practical: what are our goals for 2019?
We want to contribute to the growing movement of conscious citizens and consumers that are creating a positive impact on this planet where money is the only real way to vote, by supporting what we believe in. We want to offer a showcase of how things could be done for the greater good of the community and the earth. Our focus will be on:
1) Permaculture and regenerative agriculture
Permaculture gives a toolkit for moving from a culture of fear and scarcity to one of love and abundance. It is a design method informed by ethics that mimics patterns and relationships in nature and applies them to all aspects of human habitation.
By expanding, and improving our food forest, we want to inspire the local municipality, schools and private land owners to create productive agroforestry ecosystems that are beneficial for both people and nature, supporting biodiversity by preserving and propagating local species of plants and trees that are disappearing.
We want to raise awareness among the local community of farmers about alternative, natural and effective ways to take care of their crops, without having to use chemical and GMO products that damage irreversibly the genetic patrimony of this planet, killing ecosystems and biodiversity, enslaving farmers, weakening plants and offering an open door for dangerous bacteria such as Xylella that have been affecting thousands of olive trees in our area, putting families on their knees.
We are planning to offer several workshops related to these topics, such as:
- Vermiculture composting, to quickly turn kitchen scraps and pruning into ultra fertile humus, inviting the local community to share their plant waste to create rich soil
- Mycorrhiza systems, the internet of plants, a smart network of underground fungi that plays an important role in the soil biology and chemistry of sound ecosystems
- Synergistic and biodynamic gardening, following moon cycles, building great soil, and planting diverse species that benefit from each other.
- The art of plant propagation, seed exchange meetings to spread local varieties of plants and trees
- How to build a pond and the benefits of aquatic ecosystems in your land
2) Yoga and Mindfulness
Connecting with our natural source and higher self regularly is very important to us. It helps to calm the mind and listen to our heart as a fundamental tool for creating harmony within ourselves and with other people. This leads to healthy, solid and peaceful communities, founded on mutual respect and trust, celebration of nature, and personal awareness.
Our yoga and meditation classes can contribute to this connection, offering opportunities for inner search and personal growth so that we can experience our planet and all living beings as one, not separated from each other. This year we want to offer more classes and special workshops focused on ancient spiritual knowledge applied to modern everyday life, inviting international teachers to share their experience and wisdom.
Our goal is to create an effective and continuous means for personal growth aligning with our most authentic self. Learning to achieve a better sense of physical wellness and emotional awareness with calming the mind allows us to become the best version of ourselves contributing to a better world.
3) Natural building construction
We want to offer our visitors not only a beautiful and biodiverse environment but also solid natural structures, and highly efficient systems that minimize waste of water, energy, and material, using them as resources for closed loop processes. We are planning to consolidate and renovate existing stone structures, ancient caves, retaining stone walls and staircases, terraces and rain water harvesting systems. We also want to improve our event space with comfortable platforms and shading structures, using local, natural and upcycled material.
We will offer workshops to share ancient knowledge and new eco strategies, such as:
- Dry stone wall systems, the traditional way of building in Salento without using cement
- Compost toilets, an off the grid alternative that doesn't waste potable water and produces fertile soil
- Land art, using local pruning, bamboo and canes, creating fascinating outdoor living rooms surrounded by our trees and aromatic plants
- Geodesic domes, the easiest and most efficient way to build a modular iconic structure to hold events
- Pergolas for climbing plants that create shading solutions and can also provide food or fragrance.
4) Reconnecting people to Nature
We think it's extremely important to bring people back into the natural environment with meaningful and inspiring activities that remind them of our original bond with Nature. We want to organize more events related to this topic, such as:
- Wild edible herbs foraging, learning that there is an abundance of delicious and nutritious plants to be discovered during our walks and that not only what is wrapped in plastic at the grocery store is edible
- Beach clean ups: unfortunately like everywhere in the world nowadays, also the Salento shores suffer the presence of rubbish and plastic waste; we want to organize walks on the beach combined with cleaning them up and enjoying the outdoors, while raising awareness about reducing the use of plastic, reusing and recycling it
- Horse back riding, walking and bicycle tours in the beautiful countryside of Salento
(This video is a great inspiration for us)
We want to be able to host any person interested in experiencing a deeper connection with nature, while learning from the ancient spiritual tradition of Yoga and the more recent principles of permaculture. Being able to offer both short and long term stays to many people will create a dynamic community of international and local visitors that learn, share and have fun together. By growing and learning from each other, we may realize that in the end despite all differences we are all one.
Your support & giving back
First and above all, you can help by sharing this campaign: please talk about it, share it on social media, send it by email or WhatsApp! Having more people become aware of our project will already have a big effect on our vision and goals.
Second, we will be grateful for any financial contribution to our non-profit organization. We want to plant more trees, host more people and events, enlarging our team of committed professionals who want to create a positive impact in the community!
We are very grateful for all donations we receive, big or small, and we would like to offer something back to those who contribute to our project.
10 euro or more - Complementary tour of our farm and caves, and one yoga class: come visit us!
50 euro or more - 5 yoga classes, and a workshop or event.
100 euro or more - 5 yoga classes, and a workshop or event, plus dinner at our favorite local organic restaurant.
500 euro or more - The previous offer plus a complementary stay at our farm for 2 nights (two people).
1000 euro or more - The previous offer but extending your stay for one week (two people).
In January 2017 we began to set up our yoga eco farm and named it Orto Dell’Idro. We registered our project as an official Italian non-profit organization. More information about us and why we are doing this can be found here:
Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or on WhatsApp at (+39)3408483210
and find us on social media @ortodellidro