In this edition of Il Bisonte Journal we continue our walk through Fiorenzo Caspon’s regenerated fields. Can trees set a civic example?
Fiorenzo Caspon and I continue walking through his fields in Fanzolo, where the trees, animals and water in the area have all been given new life. Even the water. It is hot today, and we stop next to a ditch carrying clear flowing water. It looks like a vein crossing the park’s surface, providing nourishment to the plants which in turn cleanse it. “When school groups come,” he tells me, “children spontaneously play the same games I used to play at their age, fifty years ago. There are those that gather violets at the edge of these canals, and others who try to jump across, and maybe slip and splash, and then dry their feet on the grass.”
As soon as the gravel road leads us out into the sun, we run into a family enjoying a bike ride. The interview is immediately paused: an ancient ritual must take place: ciaccole, chatting with the neighbors. When asked why he is still wearing his work clothes, and not – for example – relaxing in the Canary islands, Fiorenzo, with the air of a consummate actor, exclaims: “The Canaries? But I have to take care of the canaro!” and mirthfully points to the reed (canneto) that lends itself to the pun he just made. Robust laughter, warm goodbyes, and we’re off again.
On this land everyone is welcome, whether it’s for a walk or a school trip to the countryside. It occurs to me that his strongest message lies in the intimate happiness Fiorenzo feels in saving his land. It’s true that very few of us have the means to replant all these trees, whereas it is within the power of each of us to help the environment. “Why are you doing all this?” I ask him in the end. “When a tornado hit these parts in 2009,” he replies, “it found a path that had already been razed to make way for warehouses. Not a natural barrier. Even though my company has always had sustainability goals, I feel partially responsible. All entrepreneurs should allocate a portion of their income to planting new fields! It’s a question of respect.” I agree: it is a question of love for the land.