Who we are
I am a REAL farmer, my land has to be taken seriously and to be cultivated with care, since it collects my sweat day and night; in my job we don’t have breaks, there isn’t any fun in farming except the proud satisfaction of growing plants, planting seeds and raising animals. There isn’t a moment during the day in which I stop thinking on how to protect my animals and plants, how to preserve them through the rigors of the climate, how to keep the larvae, aphids, and the downy mildew away from my crops. A job that allows little or no mistakes. The price of a mistake could be a bad crop, a dying stable, and watching my plants die before my eyes. I spied, protected and worked my land, day after day. Luckily my wife, an elementary school teacher, and my two daughters, one a middle school teacher and the other an agronomist, always supported and shared my passion. The land decimates your energy, is needed to be generous and to sacrifice for her. Growing up I created a strong bond with the land around me and with the years my passion became love. I was raised in this land; my first steps were on these fields, once owned my father and before him by my grandfather.
The Pomponi farm was established in 1856; back then in Tuscany the land was cultivated with a system of sharecropping. I owe to my father and to our farmers who I am today, they taught me the respect for nature and provided experience. I started working at the age of 8. Back then I was in charge of few important tasks; my father trusted me the point of letting me pay for the cattle. I was estimating the weight by eye and after that I could arrange a price. I was the direct buyer. I grew up well considered between the town farmers, since the early age I was one of them. After middle school I knew who I was going to be. My family and my heart were telling me to study agriculture and so I did. I signed up at the Agricultural School of Todi and later at the University of Perugia for Agricultural Sciences. Once I earned my degree I went back home to put to practice what I learned on the books, subsequently I replaced my father in charge of the company. It was the year 1952.
Today, when I look back I see how my land changed. Few of the families of farmers that were once populating the street are not here; I am here and at the age of 84 I directly run my farm with the help of a worker. As my farm adapted to the new technologies my relationship with nature stood still; season change, the winter sowing excites me as it does the green color of growing wheat in the spring and the golden sight of the same wheat in the summer. My farm has land in the province of San Casciano dei Bagni and Radicofani, for the majority cultivated with cereals (wheat, barley, and spelt) rotating with legumes; collectively the land extends for about 1.000 acres. Ten acres are planted with traditional Tuscan olive trees (variety named Frantoio, Leccino, Moraiolo and Pendolino) from which the excellent extra virgin oil of olive is extracted. Our olive oil is certified IGT Toscana (Indicazione Geografica Tipica Toscana). All my cultures are planted in respect of the environment, following the indication of integrated agriculture. Olive oil can be purchased directly from our farm.
In 2001 I decided to place agriculture and agritourism side by side; the size of the investment didn’t make the decision easy, but the idea of living again the old farm houses once place of laughter and hard work. I began by restoring San Lorenzo, the oldest structure that I own near the town. Soon the second villa, named Collolungo (due to the panoramic view) will be completed. With the help of my son in law, an engineer, and my two daughters, we directly follow and administer the workers. My family and I are proud of seeing these old farm houses restructured and back on the hills. An excellent architectural restore which brings back a landscape that inspired artist throughout the centuries. The opening of San Lorenzo was in 2003 and the opening of Collolungo was in 2008. In the summer time we had the pleasure of welcoming many tourists, mostly outside of Italy. While living in the old house our guests had the possibility of appreciating the authenticity and original atmosphere of our marvelous land. A unique landscape, in which time stops and the spirit of antique peasants revives emotions lived here for many years.