Vercelli. As small as a grain pf rice

Where: Larizzate, Vercelli

Who: Riso Naturalia


 Country women in a network

This is the story of how a small firm can become an example for the food supply chain. In this case, from the land to the table, handled by many women... We are in Larizzate, a village of past splendour, which has become part of a town, surrounded by rice fields and suffocated by factory buildings.

On the land leased to a large landowner, the Rosso family have for generations cultivated rice, risking being swallowed up by more powerful competitors. Federica came up with the winning idea and her partners are housewives, neighbours and friends. She takes the rice that’s been grown in the fields by workers, stores it, takes it to the huskery and packs it at home.

But Naturalia rice is not like any other. It is in fact rice with flowers. There’s acacia in batter, courgette, dandelion and raspberry, nettle and rose.

The flowers are the same as those grown in the garden by Mother. The recipes are Grandma’s original ones as she still does all the cooking. The workshop is the kitchen table where Federica, her sister and her mother prepare smart vacuum-packed packages one by one.

In Spring when the rice fields are flooded with water tourists and schools arrive (it’s a teaching farm) to learn about the ecosystem. The children learn by drawing pictures and telling stories, they make puzzles with the coloured rice, snakes, frogs and trees with the rice paste plasticine. Foreign visitors study the culture, the recipes and the secrets and they take photos.

But since these products of the land from Piemonte are so numerous, they also go to the market. On the “Campagna Amica” stalls of the Federazione Coldiretti, women display their cheeses, wines, vegetables, fruit, jams and preserves. And in a perfect short food supply chain, since they’re all friends, they’ve invented a system of shopping in turns on the other farms: on one occasion they’ll bring fruit, another goats’ cheese from Monferrato and another agnolotti ripieni. And those who want to return home with a nice-tasting bag full of aromas, all they need do is consult the website of Campagna Amica in Piemonte, or join the group:

If you want to learn more, go to Coldiretti's Donna Impresa The project “Educazione alla Campagna Amica”, as created by Donne Impresa Coldiretti, was started to bring together schools and agriculture, raising awareness in young people of the value of healthy eating, respect for the environment and sustainable development of the land where they belong and have their identity

Riso Naturalia, via Nino Bixio 6, Vercelli.
tel: (0039)0161393222

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