Organic Farmer Doubles as an Artist
photo by Elise Castle
Fabio Ridolfi surrounded by his organic grapevines and olive trees
A man in a worn
white t-shirt holds the ability to tell his life story through
his hands. He steps out from a house that he built with
his own hands; a home he has made for his family over the
past 31 years. Standing roughly 6 feet tall, Fabio Ridolfi
has created an interesting way of being in the world.
Rough calloused hands rapidly move back and forth as he
attempts to translate fluent Italian into English. Ridolfi
is motivated by what is right and natural for the environment.
Ridolfi's love of simplicity and attention to detail shows
through his expressions. He applies his passion for art
by using his hands to shape beauty in the world.
completely dedicated to his personal sense of history, Ridolfi
exercises his philosophy eccentrically through his artwork.
Hidden beneath a worn blue tarp sits a 4 meter, hand-crafted
wooden boat. Using the ancient Roman method of scaling and
slices, Ridolfi sketched an idea for a boat. Not far from
the covered upside down boat is a carved miniature replica
of the boat under the tarp. Simply to test his capabilities,
Ridolfi crafted this exact model. He scaled this model and
produced a fully functional, geometrically perfect, wooden
boat. Ridolfi spent more than 1500 hours crafting these masterpieces
only to store them away. Feeling a sense of completion by
finishing such beautiful works, he returned to his everyday
life as an art professor.
by Elise Castle
shells a bean from this year's harvest--part of his "seed
saver" mentality to perpetuate the species.
Ridolfi is both a professor and an organic farmer. Just as he uses his hands
to sculpt his art, he uses his hands to grow fruits and vegetables
on his farming. He seemed confused by the question: “Why
organic farming over the traditional method?” Ridolfi
lives under the philosophy that your hands are the gateway
to all things good and natural.”
Ridolfi was an active member of Worldwide Opportunities on
Organic Farms (WWOOF) for three years. Hosting more than 75
WWOOF members over the three years, Ridolfi has incorporated
his passions and hopes for the world into his farm. WWOOF
was developed to demonstrate an understanding of organic and
biodynamic ways of living. This organization made it possible
for people to travel and share their passions, inspirations
and similar values. Members are placed on organic farms all
over the world to live, work and learn. “"It is
about defending and protecting the little plot of earth we
own"” Ridolfi says.
photo by Elise Castle
Organic farmer Fabio Rodolfi's garden soaks up the late afternoon sun.
Ridolfi's house sits on acres
of pure organic farmland. He grows lettuce and corn of all
colors and flavors. His land is also the home to fig trees,
apple trees and huge pumpkins.
go beyond the story...
Fabio Ridolfi's life as an organic farmer and as an artist.
Experience the beauty of his work.
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videography by Erik Heinz
Take a closer look at some of Fabio Ridolfi's handiwork.