Schule der Vielfalt
Longo mai is a network of eleven self-governing agricultural and artisanal cooperatives in five European countries. The first cooperative was founded in 1973 on 300 hectares of fallow land near Forcalquier, in French Provence. Here the foundation stone was laid for the knowledge of agriculture and handicrafts that many in Longo mai have acquired over the years. This concerns the production of food - from one's own seeds to harvest-ready vegetables and their transformation - which are necessary for self-sufficiency; house building with natural stone, wood, straw and clay construction, but also carpentry, roofing, joinery, interior design and installation of electricity and sanitary facilities.
A wide range of practical and theoretical experience potential has been constantly expanded through the complementarity and synergies of the various cooperatives of Longo mai and the large network of friendly initiatives in their area.
Longo mai always has an open door for people who come looking for prospects for their further career. More and more young people are finding it difficult to keep up with the increasing specialization in society or even to find their way into it. After completing their training, many of them consciously start looking for other, more solidaristic forms of living together. Some come out of curiosity for a few weeks, some to get some ground under their feet again and to reorient themselves; others stay to train. Some of them decide to stay with Longo mai or to set up their own agricultural project.
The number of young people who come to the cooperatives has increased significantly in recent years. In the cooperatives, the reception and training areas must be restructured and training capacities improved.
Creation of a training and processing center The farms of Longo mai already offer infrastructure for the reception and training of young people. But now it needs a farm building adapted to the latest EU regulations on food hygiene. In the future, knowledge of meat and vegetable processing is to be imparted here under professional guidance. Longo mai opens up many opportunities for interested young people to gain insight into how good staple foods are produced and processed. Which of the youngsters still knows how vegetables are grown, where the milk comes from or how species-appropriate the animals whose meat we eat so naturally are kept. In the agricultural cooperatives they learn, among other things: know horticulture, respectful animal husbandry and the cultivation of bread grain and, above all, their complex relationships.
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