Manuela Vestri

Farm owner, Vestri Farm, Arezzo, Tuscany, Italy

Manuela Vestri was born in Siena, Tuscany, in 1952. She grew up in Arezzo, where her grandparents owned farms and wheat fields.

In the 1970s, Manuela’s parents, Terzilio and Lide, quit their careers as businesspeople and moved back to the countryside to manage their aging parents’ farm, thus continuing the family tradition of growing wheat, olive trees and grapes. Manuela and her husband Paolo would join them on the farm to help them harvest their crops and make wine.

In 2014, Manuela learned about the Shumei Organization and Shumei Natural Agriculture. She immediately fell in love with this farming method, and started practicing it as soon as the farm was passed on to her from her father.

Manuela is now one of Tuscany’s officially recognized seed savers. Thanks to her, heirloom varieties of wheat are being grown once again using the Natural Agriculture method. She is especially proud of the durum wheat that was passed down to her from her grandfather and that she is still growing today, without ever purchasing other durum wheat seeds. After the harvest, her wheat is ground into flour using an old millstone; the flour is then used to make pasta and cookies, which Manuela sells through her online store. The store’s products also include her wine, whole wheat flour, and condiments made from wine: all of these are made with ingredients grown according to the principles of Natural Agriculture.

Meeting Shumei and its philosophy has changed Manuela’s life. Thanks to the teachings learned from Shumei, Manuela feels she can now face every situation she encounters on her farm or in her family with gratitude and an open heart.