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“Ruralize Yourself!”: training for young entrepreneurs

Biodversa Spain interacting with localsThis is the story of an inspiring journey that took place last May in Valeri, a tiny rural village located in Asturias in the north of Spain. Biodiversa, a non-profit grassroots environmental NGO based in Spain, organised a week-long training course whose aim was to bring together youngsters who are currently living in a rural area with those who are willing to move to the countryside but are lacking the knowledge, information, motivation or drive.

Participants were gathered in a safe space where they were able to explore and express their concerns regarding the difficulties of starting a new life in the countryside. Those who had already moved away from the city plus some successful urban farmers shared their tools and "know-how" and offered a realistic view about the challenges that others may face, should they decide to get on with the transition.

The multicultural and multidisciplinary environment that resulted from the mix of many cultures and many life stories triggered a change of paradigms regarding our role in the glocal community, our relationship with nature and our responsibility to be respectful and live in harmony with the rural environment carrying over a sustainable way of living, either you live in the city or in the countryside, because everything is connected. These thoughts were collected in a blog entry shared by one participant from Malta that you can visit here.

The food offered during the week of training was also aligned with the aims and values of Biodiversa: vegetarian mostly, organic, local and seasonal thanks to Iñigo the cook. ( Spain ruralise-yourself group-picture

This action reached out the public in Asturias when it went out in the local news, both in paper and television.

Participants had the chance to interact with locals during a visit to an organic dairy farm, during the espicha (typical Asturian evening party) and finally when neighbours across the road invited the group to taste freshly brewed apple cider.

The results of this exchange will be presented as a short guide for "farm hoppers" in the form of a leaflet. Please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., request your electronic copy and stay tuned. Keep the contact because we are planning to organize a second edition of this course next year and who knows, maybe you could join the adventure!

Dr. Ternura Rojas

Biodiversa, Spain