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A new eco-sustainable and fair trade project. An organic vegetable garden cultivated with respect for nature in a mutual growth relationship between cultivated space and cultivator.

In the valley area of the wide garden of the Park Hotel Azalea, a space with a story worth telling has recently sprung up.

This space is called the "biodynamic social garden".

The term "social" indicates first and foremost its organisational principle; it is divided into eight zones, each of which is managed by a different person; the fruits of cultivation, on the other hand, are divided among all the growers equally, and a part is always destined for people in need.

The "social" of this project is in fact directly linked to the feeling of solidarity and sharing. The idea came from Manuela who, together with Cornelia, a friend and yoga teacher, was driven by a strong feeling of closeness to the people who experienced difficult moments during the virus emergency, managing to create a new point of reference for various people in the area.

By "biodynamic", we mean a particular method of cultivation that takes its inspiration from Rudolf Steiner's study of agriculture. He theorised an anthroposophical method in which the earth (bio) was treated as matter in motion (dynamic), interpreting the plant as a link between the earth and the cosmos.

To be a farmer,' said Rudolf Steiner, 'one must be in tune with the law of Nature, and recognise the action of spiritual and material forces in natural manifestations. Without such recognition, the earth will increasingly degrade to the point of desertification and food degeneration.

The approach of paying attention to one's spirit in favour of listening to the Earth was established right from the opening ritual through the use of drums, the same drums used in animist rituals of shamanic peoples around the world. During the ceremony, participants experienced an emotional moment of recollection and union with the Earth.

This attitude of respect and love for Nature was immediately repaid with a rapid lushness of the plants: the whole space was soon covered in a tender green and the shoots began to grow rather quickly. Very soon the first fruits also began to be plucked, which were always plucked in an attitude of deep gratitude.

It should be borne in mind that, according to the philosophy of the garden, it is not only the earth that 'gives', but also those who care for it must offer something for its upkeep. Steiner stated: 'The earth is a living organism and not a substrate on which to put mineral salts and that's all'. One of the elements that is part of this gift is the so-called 'manure horn': a horn filled with cow dung that has calved at least once, buried before winter to be resurfaced in early spring. During this time, the manure will have completed its transformation into extremely fertile hummus.

Planning and maintaining a vegetable garden can be quite tricky, but it is good to remember that growers have established an evolving relationship that makes cultivation much more spontaneous than it may seem in theory. Establishing such a subtle relationship requires a lot of passion and dedication but the fruits reaped materially and spiritually are uncomparable.

The desire of some guests to understand the workings of the biodynamic garden was enthusiastically received by Chef Pravas. His expert knowledge of edible plants and vegetables is displayed in outings organised three times a week, where the chef devotes himself to explaining the recognition of plants and their qualities.

Pravas integrates several of the garden vegetables into his 100% vegetable dishes, the result of his profound knowledge of gastronomy and nature. The new idea of the Park Hotel Azalea lies in the desire to share this knowledge and the produce from the garden in an open dinner, with the aim of raising funds to meet the costs of cultivation.

The biodynamic vegetable garden project is yet another proof of solidarity and sustainability integrated within a modern vision of hospitality, which makes love for one's neighbour and for nature a daily mission.

These precious words of Steiner can help remind us of the value of love for nature and life, and of our own inner awareness:

Admire the beautiful,

cherish the true,

venerate the noble,

decide the good:

this leads man

in life to goals,

in acting to righteousness,

in feeling to peace,

in thinking to the light;

and teaches him to trust

in the divine working

in all that exists

in the universe,

in the foundation of the soul.


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