“L’Abete Bianco” Biopark – Educational farm

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Over one hectare of park inserted in a wider ecological context still intact, in which there are many local and wild species of ancient plants and animals in danger of extinction, the organic gardens of the farm, guided tours for schools, groups of children and adults: it is the “L’Abete Bianco” Biopark in Apella, a center for conservation and environmental education of the farm and agritourism, where it is also possible to create educational gardens, workshops, outdoor and indoor games. The name “White Fir” was assigned with reference to the silver fir tree which is a symbol of biodiversity, but also because local historians believe that the name of the place “Apella” derives, as evidenced in old maps, from “La Pela ”with which in the Apennine jargon this plant was called. Through the activities of education, research, conservation and dissemination that are developed in the Biopark, the aim is to inform visitors about the main concepts of natural biodiversity, agro-biodiversity, food security, but also to promote sustainable development actions. , stimulating the reflection and behavior of visitors on food choices, on the use of natural resources, with particular emphasis on cultural aspects and traditions linked to the use of local varieties of wild and cultivated species, practices whose survival is unfortunately at risk .

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The didactic project, of a cultural-educational type, is part of the environmental education strategies activated by the farm in synergy with the Tuscan-Emilian Apennine National Park, dedicated to students of all ages and types of school: theoretical and practical training activities on family agriculture, divided into moments in the classroom and on the territory, on the management of an organic vegetable garden and orchard, on the use and properties of aromatic and medicinal herbs, on peasant civilization, on professional agricultural entrepreneurship, on responsible consumption, on knowledge of chestnut supply chain with guided visits to an ancient drying room (metato) with the possibility of activating horticulture actions, cleaning the undergrowth and collecting chestnuts in complete safety, always under the guidance of our operators, as well as mycological excursions and guided tours in the woods . It is also possible to learn about the farm animals: such as donkeys, sheep, cows, Cinta Senese pigs raised in the wild and semi-wild, hens, chickens, geese, ducks and others, in addition to those species that live naturally in the park like squirrels, foxes, pheasants, pigeons and on certain occasions, for the lucky ones, the golden eagle.

Proposte per le Scuole

The Biopark can be visited by accompanied adults and children, at any time of the year, either independently, following the guided tours inside, or upon request (for groups of visitors and school groups) guided tours can be activated with the owners of the farm and with the possibility of being supported by local environmental guides, with whom the agritourism structure collaborates. In particular, it is common for customers of the farmhouse restaurant to spend some time inside it after lunch or before a meal, which can be accessed with a short walk from the farmhouse restaurant.
A small orchard dedicated to the so-called “minor fruits or forgotten fruits”, such as medlar, rowan, quince, strawberry tree, dogwood, pomegranate, blackthorn and others, was recovered and appropriately integrated within the Bioparco, mainly obtained in hilly marginal areas , which in the past were widely used by local populations as part of a self-subsistence agricultural economy, within a use that was little more than a family one, and which today are still rarely cultivated.
An important section of the Bioparco is also dedicated to the cultivation of medicinal and aromatic herbs which have a vital role to play in improving agricultural production and preserving the biodiversity of the environment.
The land of Lunigiana is, in fact, very rich in edible spontaneous plants and herbs of medicinal and aromatic interest, often used in the preparation of the tasty dishes of the Lunigiana culinary tradition, such as the characteristic “herb cake”. In the Bioparco it is possible to find a selected collection of these plants, mostly indigenous, such as borage, marjoram, dandelion, rosemary, wild thyme, wild sage, and more chives, chamomile, wild fennel, santolina, helichrysum and lavender. There are also organic vegetable gardens, in other words small plots obtained on terraces (recovered with great skill through the restoration of dry stone walls) within the park where the vegetables used by the farm are grown for the preparation of many traditional Lunigiana dishes.

The educational farm

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