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Monica – A Renaissance in Nature One Year after Adversity

September 3, 2013

One year ago, I wrote a post on Monica Fiumara, who runs her family farm, Azienda Jancarossa.  At that time, I described Monica’s challenges when her lemon, orange and olive groves were devastated by fire. Back then, when I visited her, I found a lady who shared the sad reality of losing 700 of her 3,500 trees to fire!  One statement Monica made at that time, among all the challenges and fear for the future of her crops, was that “She could do it”.  Well, she HAS done it!

This afternoon, I visited Monica and saw firsthand what a difference one year can make when one sets one’s mind to overcoming adversity and making a difference.  Today, the Monica I spoke to was glowing, her eyes were sparkling and it was clear that she had indeed overcome adversity.

As we sat on her terrace overlooking the property, in retelling the events of the past year, Monica started by talking about those 700 trees that died as a consequence of the fire.  The fire spread quickly through one area and bounced over other ones and the trees were affected in three different ways: some died due to the fact that the bark separated, some were totally burnt and some were burnt halfway.

Pulling back the bark  which separated from the tree trunk at the time of the fire


However, as I spoke to Monica and we started walking around her property, all she kept saying was that  this past year has been a lucky one.  

The previous year, there had been loss due to rain at the time the trees were blossoming and there was loss in production due to the fire which killed one-fourth of her trees. Yet,  with regards to the trees that survived, the yield this year has been great and Monica has been able to sell her produce very well.

While walking through the property, I could see the vacant land where the damaged trees are being uprooted.  Monica has managed to hire a woodcutter who has uprooted the dead trees on a barter system; the payment for his labor is to take the wood.  Seven hundred trees have been removed out of the 3,500 on the property.

The clearing shows one of the areas the fire ran through burning the trees


Furthermore, change and renewal are today the positive result of what had been adversity in the past.  Now, Monica has devised a new plan.  After research and study, she is planning to start growing avocados on the land where the dead trees once stood.  She is studying avocado production practices in countries as Peru’ and Chile and is acquiring more knowledge on the topic through an avocado research center located in the northern part of Sicily, in the town of Caronia.

As I met with Monica and spent time talking to her, the twinkle in her eyes clearly showed her feeling of  happiness.   She has overcome adversity and managed not only to react to it, but to grow both as an individual and a professional.

Some of the trees that survived the fire as seen from the terrace


“Fresh activity is the only means of overcoming adversity.” Johann Wolfgang von Goethe


From → I Siquillyahni

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