Ten migrant youth and seven unemployed Sicilians embarked on the now well-tested five-week learning journey in Design for Sustainability and Organic Food Systems, led by Gaia Education, the University of Catania and associazione I Girasoli.
The programme took place at Masseria San Marco, in the municipality of Paternò, in the Simeto river valley, at the foot of Mount Etna’s southern side. This is a bioregional laboratory and cross-breeding ground for numerous associations and initiatives. Ten municipalities were involved in redesigning the future of what was once one of the richest citrus and vegetable growing areas of Sicily.
Theoretical lessons and field activities, focused on organic regenerative design and market possibilities for the much-in-demand food and cosmetic industry, took place inside an existing 2000 square metre warehouse and food lab located on site.
It is wonderful to see how awakening to the opportunities of production of fresh fruits, juices, essential oils, jams, sauces, dry fruits and vegetables, and pasta making, has fueled the imagination of this new generation of designers for sustainability.
The team of Sicilia Integra and some course graduates are now establishing a social cooperative and plan to be part of the regenerative development momentum that is enlivening this territory.