Collaborative Projects

The Spannocchia Foundation is committed to collaborating with non-profit organizations, foundations, schools, and for-profit businesses that have an interest in the mission and activities of the Foundation. Since 2001, there have been several projects at Spannocchia that have been generated through these collaborative agreements.

Land-Use History Research:

A collaborative agreement signed by the heads of six organizations committed to supporting research on sustainable land-use and forest history has led to the first long-term research project at Tenuta di Spannocchia. Since September 2001, Professor Gil Latz, a Fulbright Scholar and Professor of Geography and International Studies at Portland State University has been working at Spannocchia to create a series of land-use maps of the Spannocchia estate, aided by research of historic land-use maps and policies and use of modern mapping and satellite locator technology. This project, which is funded by the US Fulbright Program, the National Science Foundation, and the Forest History Society, was completed in 2002. Professor Latz’s research has led him to develop an ongoing student education program in concert with Portland State University that brings PSU geography students to Spannocchia each year to explore issues related to anthropology, sociology, geography, and natural resource use in rural Tuscany. The six organizations collaborating in support of this project are: The Forest History Society, Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historical Park, Tenuta di Spannocchia, The Spannocchia Foundation, The National Park Service Conservation Study Institute, and The Harvard Forest.

Sustainable Forestry Plan:

In 2004 – 2005 we worked with Spannocchia Foundation Advisor, Mauro Agnoletti, Professor in the Forestry and Environment Department at the University of Florence and one of his graduate students to create a sustainable 20 year cutting plan for the 900 acres of forest on the Spannocchia property, which was completed in late 2005.

Slowfood Siena:

Due to our proximity to Siena and the natural fit between our organic and traditional food production at Spannocchia, we have been delighted to host the Slowfood Siena convivium at Spannocchia several times in the last few years. Most recently, we prepared a traditional American Thanksgiving for the group in November 2005, and we hosted a hike and reading from Delfino Cinelli’s book, Castiglione Che Dio Sol Sa, followed by a tasting of Cinta Senese salumi products at the Castello in June 2005. Both events were a big hit with the local Sienese members of Slowfood and we hope to plan more events for them in the future!

Farm-Based Education Association:

In May 2006, staff and board members from the Spannocchia Foundation participated in the inaugural meeting of the Farm-Based Education Association at Shelburne Farms, in Shelburne, VT. The FBEA seeks to inspire, nurture, and promote farm based education. The goals of the FBEA are to provide professional development and support to its members, to build and share information among its members, and to increase awareness about farm based education. SF Executive Director Erin Cinelli will serve on the Executive Committee of the Founding Board of the FBEA. We hope to complement the work of the FBEA by developing a rotating international symposium series at Spannocchia that focuses on resource, policy, and planning issues related to property management and organizational development for organizations involved with farm based education efforts in Europe and the United States.