Urban Farm … working in progress

3. August, 2013

Contributor:  The Villari Farm, Municipality of Messina

Audacity and imagination for the entrepreneur: in agriculture nothing is thrown away




There were 4 acres of completely abandoned land in a central and populous area of the city (behind the University Hospital of Messina). The ground was, for many years, full of weeds, shrubs, and diseased trees. The area was a high fire risk. Inside there is an old farming village where more than a hundred years ago farmers carried on their business.



The recovery and use of abandoned land, using traditional methods for cultivation. A compost bin has been created that produces natural compost which will fertilize all the plants in the farm.

The farm not only sells their products (KM 0 and biological), but is about to launch a general orchard market KM = 0. Other agricultural producers of Messina may make use of the market. In addition, citizens who want a little space to “grow their own vegetable garden” can rent it at a cost of € 1,50 per day. They will have the use of common electricity and water.



At this time, the business is looking for masons, carpenters, electricians, plumbers, land surveyors, agronomists, landscape architects, and winemakers in particular for the preservation and recovery of the old farming village (with a millstone and mill).

To compensate for the effort and time spent, the company will offer, in fact, the possibility of using space to cultivate the experts’ passions and / or to receive the products of the company.


Pro and Contra

Pro: Sharing a new way of thinking with respect to the concepts of land, labor, and development. There is a concrete invitation to network by providing expertise and experience in an innovative project (Messina).

Contra: The city of Messina could not respond to this cultural change.


What are the lessons learn to be used/transferred/implemented in the other partner cities?

The resourcefulness of an entrepreneur, even in a period of economic crisis, can become a model and a reverse trend.


Question to the network

Will this enterprise be able to create new permanent jobs?