Our 4th story is about a determined young permaculturist and entrepreneur, Aurelia Diesnis. Being raised as a nature-homeschooled kid at the family farm in Southern France, she already knew what she wanted to do with her life. Be a defender of the soil and nature. She started visiting eco farms and attending conferences all around the world looking for valuable knowledge on permaculture and regenerative agriculture. Her quest brought her to participate in the 1st Permaculture Design Course of The Southern Lights where she enriched her skills as a trainer and facilitator while broadening her network and developing important connections by sharing dreams and ideas with like minded people from 5 different European countries. “This sense of connection is so important,” she mentions.
Right after she returned home to France to help her mother on their farm project that since 2012 has been successfully turning into a promising and productive Food Forest called “Jardin-Forêt des Étangs”, with more than 500 trees of 35 different varieties. The skills and knowledge from PDC experience started to form solid ideas into Aurelia’s mind. She wanted to see the Food Forest of the Ponds to grow, to get more alive and to inspire people to bond with nature and contribute to soil regeneration through sustainable and responsible agriculture. Her mother, her sister and Aurelia, 2 generations of strong-willed women, together with some friends, founded the “Jardins de Reliance” (Gardens of Reliance), an association that aims to support the creation of a reference space for permaculture activities. Workshops, food forest tours, selling veggies, fruits and other goodies to the neighboring villagers, digging, planting and pruning are just a few of the ongoing activities in the Food Forest of the Ponds.
Their regenerative plan starts off with the campaign “De l'eau de pluie pour la Vie!” (Rainwater for Life!). It’s about the building of a dam so they can harvest the rainwater during autumn and winter and use it to irrigate the farm during summer that is super dry and hot. “We want to stop the desertification that’s spreading and enhance the biological productivity and local biodiversity” she says. Big dreams don’t stop there. A forest school so kids can “escape in nature”, processing of the farm’s produce to bring Greek traditional recipes to a food truck restaurant on the farm, and the creation of a bigger eco network in France and Europe are a few of Aurelia’s visions. “Cooperation is the key to success”, she says. And we couldn’t agree more.
If you want to support Aurelia’s crowdfunding “De l’eau de pluie pour la Vie!” and help her build the rainwater dam at “Jardin-Forêt des Étangs”, click here