Apples are what kicked off the experience in Armaio. A huge number of apples were grown in the region, but they were not used to their full potential. After looking at experiences from other nearby groups, the group saw that apple juice would be a lucrative product. The group came together and founded ASE - Aramaizo Sagardogileen Elkartea (Aramaio Association of Cider Producers). Not only does the group produce apple juice, but also it carries out activities linked to training, awareness-raising and campaigns.
Two referent groups already were present in the town: Aramaiko Ondarea Berreskuratzeko taldea, a group that used auzolan (Basque word for neighbourly community work), in order to undertake actions to recover cultural and historical property in Aramaio; and Arbel, a cooperative of some 90 Baserritarras (a word denoting peasants specific to the region) who worked with 'personalised' feed.
The existence and work of these three groups are key to understanding how the 'Armijo Baserri Berri' project came about. Each group sees the project from its own perspective, and is committed to a rural development project that includes the whole town.
The experience in Aramaio encompasses a number of diverse actions, but it is structured by the three following pillars:
- The pillar of food sovereignty; focusing on the consumerism group and the experience of Ekonomato
- The pillar of energy sovereignty: with an ambitious goal of not only producing part of its own energy, but also being involved at every step (sourcing materials, turning them into fuel, distributing energy and charging for it). This includes being rooted in sustainability and generating fair and sustainable economic relationships. After the group studied what resources were available in Aramaio, it decided to use biomass. The group later focussed on using wood splinters as fuel for a community boiler that would provide hot water and heating for the Ibarra neighbourhood.
- The pillar of leisure and tourism sovereignty: based on acknowledging the heritage of Aramaio and the need to recognise its value, both by the people of the town and people who visit the town.
- Creating networks
- Local institution