Piglio is famous for its Cesanese DOCG red wine and now also its fame will grow due to the particular way in which some winemakers are taking care of their vineyards. This is the case of Geminiano Montecchi who uses homeopathy in vineyards to protect his vines and organizes courses to disseminate this culture.
Geminiano Montecchi and his partner Maria Ernesta Berucci are winegrowers and the Berucci family has produced red Cesanese and white Passerina in Piglio for centuries. Before returning to their roots they have travelled the world and worked in different cultures and among local people, bringing innovation from those people to the conduct of their vineyards.
In one of his trips Geminiano met Radko Tichavski, Director of Comenius in Mexico who spreads the “homeopathic” method in agriculture through courses and consultations. Tichavski goes beyond the classic “agro-homeopathy” and coined the term “holo-homeopathy”, which incorporates the concept of “Holon” coined by the philosopher Arthur Koestler, in 1968 in The Ghost in the Machine. The holon is a system where each element contains the same information of the whole and a minimal change in a part of the system is reflected in the whole system.
According to the holo-homeopathic method the farm is a single body, a complex system of living and non-living elements of which man plays the central role of curator. The centre of attention is the relationship and not the individual elements, and these are the relationships that need to be reinforced. Gimignano is a geologist and knows how to control the relationship between natural elements and has now studied how to increase those connections.
Everything in the environment is in communication. Plants, for example, communicate with each other through the COV (Complex Organic Volatiles) emitted into the air from leaves as well as other molecules emitted from the roots in the soil. The ground, then, puts all growth in connection with the fungi with their hyphae, that extend to square kilometers, constituting the ‘web of soil’. Pests and diseases are not seen as enemies to be defeated, but as messengers of an imbalance in the dynamic life of the system, and these ‘enemies’ automatically withdraw when the system is restored to balance.
The farmer interacts with the system using his five senses: smelling the soil and plants to assess state of health, he savours the plants, observes their disposition and that of their single parts (such as branches, flowers, fruits, asymmetrical growth etc.), keeping in mind the episodic changes, daily and seasonal. Maria explains the concept in very simple words:
Treating a vineyard according to principles of homeopathy in vineyards means looking at the whole. Observe the plants and read the information sent us to help them grow. It is a bit like when you educate children you need to pander to their nature and not intervene only in crises.
As we observe the friends of our children to understand how they are progressing in life and if they are in danger, Geminiano and Maria observe, for example, walnut and apple trees, which are the friends and ‘sentinels’ of the vineyard, and other nearby plants.
The purpose of the holo-homeopathic method is to take care of the agricultural system by increasing the relations between the various living organisms in order to create a more “robust” system in health, and strengthen the plants to produce healthy top quality food, respecting all beings who live in the environment in which we operate.
The techniques used are the congregation of suitable plants in the same area, the ground is not ploughed to avoid breaking the roots, and disconnecting the plants, and each is given generic and specific homeopathic preparations.
The advantages of the holo-homeopathic method are a high quality of products, more taste and higher food value. The harmony and vitality of the plants ensure greater resistance to pests, diseases, and adverse climatic conditions. The subject is fascinating, but for those who are not experts many questions remain as what is the difference between organic farming and the homeopathic.
Homeopathy cures the sick, not the sickness, working on energy levels. According to homeopathy the disease is not a state but a process. A living being is always in a dynamic equilibrium between the health-disease extremes that are complementary to each other. Organic farming works with matter (compost, etc.) while the holo-homeopathy works with energy.
For example, when a distortion occurs in the system you must prepare a specific solution, but a homeopathic preparation cannot be found by a chemical analysis of the product because it is so heavily diluted in water. During the stage of mixing of the preparation, some of the molecular silica is detached from the glass container and creates what is termed a ‘Matrix’ with the air. On this matrix is printed the “energy” message that will be given to the plant by the water (the carrier).
This is the difference: an energy message is given instead of a chemical message. In this way the ability to rebalance the specific energy levels enters into the system to correct undesirable distortions that have occurred.
Some bio-dynamic concepts were known to farmers in areas where there is ancient winemaking tradition. For example you can observe rose plants at the beginning of each row of vines because roses have the task to notify of stress and attacks occurring in the row, such as downy mildew attack.
To request information about courses of homeopathy in vineyards and for soils you can look up the Fb page or call the Agriturismo of Casa Berucci in Piglio.
About the Interviewed:Geminiano Montecchi
Geologist, project manager, permacultore, and producer of wines according to the holo-homeopathic method