Some olive farmers in the North West of Italy, Imperia, willfully maintain the cultivation of olives in extreme conditions despite any economic consideration.
Why? The answer is easy: because they couldn’t do any different. Who has been educated to do things properly develops a sense of integrity that applies to themselves and to all the rest of the world.
If your father and your grandfather told you that the best oils come from high-altitude olive trees, you are not going to abandon the olive trees you inherited on the mountains. When your ancestors terraced the slopes of mountains, they also delineated the destiny of their descendants. The most sensible among those descendents can’t avoid their destiny.
A vast literature discusses about the individualism that characterizes the farming world and speculated on the preconceived reluctance in creating associating and cooperation among farmers. Fewer studies were instead dedicated to what unites and it is peculiar in this culture.
First of all, the farmer is a free man with a high sense of honor. In this world the verbal agreement is as cogent as a written one and it is normal to lose money rather then breaking the word. The profound sense of freedom that characterizes farmers is one of the deepest values of their lives and it is considered as a duty toward all the community.
Honor is the awareness to be part of a valuable tradition and, as Simone Weil stresses, for farmers the destruction of their past is a capital crime.
The physical uprooting from their land of origin typically corresponds with a moral uprooting. Hence, taking their sorrow and making a rallying cry out of it is a highly important political operation.
Then, what are the stable and characterizing values of rural culture? And in which sense are they relevant? Answering these questions is important to go over the prejudices of many politicians that see individual initiatives of farmers as markers of a “selfish and individualistic rural sub-culture”.
The convergence between classic liberal thought (in its best forms) and modern progressive thought that we see today is now starting to take these motions in consideration.
By definition, rural culture has always adopted the concept of sustainability. Farmer loves the land, they doesn’t abuse or exploit it. They give the land back what they receive. In his classic book Civilized Man's Eight Deadly Sins (1973), Konrad Lorenz affirms: “the biocoenosis made by the farmer is as stable as the one that would be in place without his intervention”.
Farmers know from ancient times the advantages brought by a close interaction between entrepreneurship and direct responsibility. Hence, farms know by direct experience the efficacy of a productive system based on unsupervised mechanisms of auto-regulation. This is the reason why, in the need of operative alliances, farmers prefer free cooperation.
At this regard, the widespread expression “global village” is explicative: in a village everybody keeps their identity, as opposite to depersonalizing cities. Modern communication, and in particular the web, allowed us to reestablish ancient forms of communication. We have opportunities that the preceding generations couldn’t even imagine.
From these considerations our initiative is born: what is left from a proud millenarian tradition, without trying to represented in any institution, decides to address its message of hope directly to the world community.
As observed before, informatics made people free as never before. The genius of the community is now free to express itself without any repression or constriction. In this fabulous era, sovereignty is back to free people, standing against an impoverished politics.
This is the reason we created TreeDream, the cultural movement that, as a first project will launch SAVE THE ROOTS, for the preservation of high altitude olive culturing.