While we were in Italy we visited old friends Etain and Martin at Pratale, their organic hill farm on the other side of the valley. They have 30 acres of land - olive trees, vines, a huge vegetable garden, sheep, chickens, donkeys, horses, cats, dogs ...
I first went to Pratale back in 1981 and have returned many times since. Etain has lived there for 30 years and has brought up 3 children there. They operate as an 'open farm' where people from all over the world can come and stay for anything from a day to a year.
In 1984 there was a huge earthquake and the old farmhouse was severely damaged. Over the following years more than a thousand people came to help build a new house.
Etain has written a book called A Silent Joy in which she interweaves stories from Pratale with anecdotes about the lives of her neighbours in the valley. She uses these tales to illustrate and expound on her core beliefs on bioregionalism and about finding your place on earth among the animals, insects and plants native to that particular piece of land.
Martin has also written a book called Living & Working with Horses and Donkeys, which is a collection of articles about ... do you really need me to tell you?
For some irritating techy reason I can't get the link to work, but both books are available on US Amazon - search for Etain Addey or Martin Lanz.