Alfredo Meschi converted a 14m2 living room (150 square feet) into a home for only 2000 euros by using recycled wood to create a kitchen, elevated sofa/bed and walls to make the apartment self-contained. He knocked out the fireplace to create an off grid toilet system: an electric toilet with greywater pipes from the shower that water the bountiful veggie and herb garden.
A vegan activist, Meschi has made his body a permanent protest with a bodysuit of 40,000 cross tattoos (the number of animals killed every second for food). He began his Project X later in life, but he grew up learning to hunt from his father and fish from his uncle, an Italian spearfishing champion.
His income is limited to his book sales (he writes about his experiences), lithoprint sales and to the social eating events he hosts in his backyard, which also serve to introduce others to veganism in his small Tuscan town. His greywater system guarantees enough water for his vegetable garden so that even during summertime droughts, he is able to provide enough greens for his backyard pop-up restaurant.
Despite the tiny home size he is able to host 6 to 8 people for indoor meals and movie nights by rearranging the bed cushions to create double couches. He built a long, slim desk along one wall where he writes and creates his lithoprints. His kitchen is narrow, but there is plenty of space for cooking his grandmother’s vegan recipes for his social eating events. He argues all Tuscan cooking was vegan at one point, back when “people were poor”.
Recipe for “Castagnaccio”, the chestnut flour cake Meschi cooks in the video:
“In the recipe of this video we used 500g of chestnut flour. For the other ingredients, which are raisins, pine nuts, extra virgin olive oil and rosemary, you can freely decide the quantity. As you may see in the video, it is a very simple recipe: melt the flour by adding water at room temperature, a little at a time and mixing well to avoid lumps. Add raisins and, once everything is poured into the pan, add the pine nuts. After about ten minutes of cooking, add the rosemary. Total cooking time about 30 minutes, but it depends on the type of oven, pan, etc., so I suggest you do the “toothpick test”. This was the first vegan recipe my grandmother taught me. It is very popular and very good! An example of how in the culinary tradition of Tuscany there are so many vegan recipes (Pappa col pomodoro, Panzanella, Ribollita, Fettunta, Bordatino, Polenta and mokte others!).”