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Sirente Velino Park: Rediscovering the Grass Pea

(Rocca di Mezzo, 30 Lug 12) (Rocca di Mezzo, 30th July 12) Sirente Velino Regional Park rediscovering ancient legumes: the grass pea. Aim: safeguarding vegetable biodiversity and bringing on the tables of the local restaurants and school canteens a product of the rural diet of the past. The project started with a meeting between the President of the protected area, Simone Angelosante, and the representatives of the Municipalities of Ovindoli, Rocca di Mezzo, and Rocca di Cambio, several farmers and restaurateurs of Altopiano delle Rocche. Starting point: research activities and projects on the local products and cultivations characterizing the territory of Altopiano delle Rocche, as well as Subequana Valley; aim: boosting the cultivation of the lentil.

"In spring", said President Simone Angelosante, "the grass pea recovery project will start with an experimental stage that will involve the farmers joining the initiative, the University, and the agronomists". As a matter of fact, the project will count on the collaboration of the agronomists Antonello Liberatore and Luigi Logiudice and on the advice of the University of Molise (Stefania Scippa and Sebastiano Delfine) and L'Aquila (Bruno Cicolani). At the presentation of the project, also attended in video-conference by Anna Giorgi from the University of Montagna di Edolo, the representatives of the Municipalities of Ovindoli, Rocca di Mezzo, and Rocca di Cambio joined the initiative.

" In Ovindoli", assured the deputy mayor Marco Iacutone, "we will introduce in the school canteens the local lentil and other local products that will obtain the label of Sirente Velino Regional Park. The organoleptic features of these products, as well as biological diversity, must be promoted among tourists who are looking for quality products, whose higher price is a guarantee of authenticity and uniqueness. These quality products are the response to the globalized models, the same all over the world and in all periods of the year".

Therefore, the project will start in spring. Meanwhile, President Angelosante opens the door to hotel and restaurant owners, asking them to join the project now, suggesting local dishes based on lentils. It will help to use a good percentage of the product and to sell it in Italy and abroad". The export, assures Dr Antonello Liberatore, can start from the A.I.S.I.M program of cooperation, development, and exchange between Italy and Argentina.
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