Olive oil

febbraio 25, 2014

Let’s spend few words on olive oil, on what i know about it, and the work behind it. Beginning from the latter, and from the present, I can say that I’ve just finished to prune my olive trees (they are about a hundred) . I’m very slow in pruning, cause I’ve got no experience, and it took me almost three weeks to do the job, almost the whole february. So far I pruned the olive trees in march or april, but this winter was so warm that i could anticipate the job a lot, working in really nice and sunny day. I learnt how to prune with a friend of mine’s uncle, who came to help me for some years. Then, last year I tried to do it by myself, it was an epic job, I thought I couldn’t do it, but i did, and we had a great harvest, with 15 q.li of olives. There are courses to learn the proper way to prune the olive trees, one is held byASSAM, another one by a local school for agricolture, I’ll go to the latter. At the end of february, and in march, you have to fertilaze the trees. This help the trees themself. To help the fruit, in this case olives, you can also fertilize in may or june. the harvest,

Annunci

More Organic gardening

febbraio 23, 2014

Almost two years have already passed since the last post, and an up to date is needed. About two years without a proper job so far, still I’ve worked more then ever. Beginning with the small family garden, I added an extra garden for few extra crops and then, last year in april, I decided to work on a larger garden and try to grow vegetables to sell locally in order to begin a proper business in the next couple of years, if I see I can get enough money from farming. I started last spring growing tomatoes and beans, onions, garlic and melon, with different outcomes. Beans, for example, were superb, melon just a shame. I started to look for customers, aiming to reach a number of up to fifty families which I should be able to find soon mainly by word of mouth. After that first season I tried to expand the garden even more working for the winter crop in a three thousand square meters garden growing several kind of lettuce, fennels, cabbages, chicory, chard, cauliflower. I transplanted all these vegetables between mid august and october, selling it between november and february. It was an interesting try, since i saw what people like the best, and what they don’t eat almost at all. Also enriched by this experience I’ll be able to grow better variety and amount of vegetables the next year.

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Winter garden in november

There were some difficult moments along the way, when i was afraid not to be able to settle the field in the proper way for the winter season, finding manure, water and other needs. I worked three weeks with no days off at all, from the early morning till night, but I’m still on board, stubborn more then ever, and a one hectare garden is ready to be used. Right now I’m busy pruning olives trees, while I’ve already pruned the fruit trees, with the desire to plant at least ten more of them, replacing the ones which died recently. Then, it will be time to plant potatoes, onions, and all the summer crops such as tomatoes, zucchini, peppers and so on.

The moon

maggio 12, 2012

I found out how ancient beliefe are still radicated in our modern society. Many poeple know and believe about the influence of the moon on vegetables grow and other crops in general. I had some difficulties to understand the way it works, I also found someone who doesn’t believe at all and laugh at the moon subject, and in the end, I planted my running beans with no care about it. 

I also sowed a handfull of mixed seeds in the only raised bads I’ve got with no boards: radish, spinach, carrots, beetroots, chicory. Also, a copule of basils plants on the same raising bed. It’s an experiment to me, I’ve never done something like it, something so close to a sinergic garden.

I’ve also Had Stefano here to plant his own piece of garden. I hope to collaborate with him in th next year. Having people here to work th eland and to enjoy the place, share the oven in a community style is a aim of mine, beginning with friends and the GAS member.

For the first time I’m taking care about the orchard, and I think this is a good news. I mowed the grass and now the fruit trees look much better, have much air, which is good in a part of the year which is going soon to be hot. 

I want a map of my garden, and of my orchard.

Looking for reeds

maggio 9, 2012

Reeds are important in the garden, because they’re used as supports for running beans and tomatoes, peppers and aubergines. Usually people get them in winter, let them dry for months to use them in spring. I was a bit less organized: i realized I needed loads of them after having planted tomatoes and running beans. But, fortunaly, I’ve found plenty of reeds in the ditch in my field.

Another task to do in this period is to earth up the potatoes: I didn’t get well the reason we do it, it should be both to keep the humidity by the plant and to boost the grow of the tubers.

Also, I’ve got to transplant winter pumpkins and plant some more running beans.

Gardening

maggio 8, 2012

Five months are gone since the last post. Five months which passed quickly, with few things to mention. I worked a lot. Here it is, mostly, in this period, I worked. With a pause due to the snow (we had so much snow on Februaryand some days I took to prune the olive trees, as usual, with Giovanni. Recently I got really bored and unsatisfied with my job, for several reasons: I’m not really interested in it;  my cotract is not that good (When I’ve got one); I dislike the life style this job let me lead (I feel I’m working too much time). So I quit my job, at the end of April, I decided I would try to find my way, somehow. The first will of mine, it’s linked to gardening: I want to experiment and learn as much as possible about gardening, and agricolture and traditions close to this ancient world, where i come from. I’d like to get as self sufficient as possible, at least for fruit, vegetables, legumes and conserves. Also, I’d like to check and value if I can get some money from the 4 hectar field I’ve got, growing vegetables and developing some kind of sustainable activity. Establishing link with the local community is also another aim of mine.

Since January I settled the first raised beds in the old garden. The good winter weather helped me a lot. Then I had to stop for the snow, and I starded working again on late march. By April, I finished three beds. Also, in March I planted in the third, lettuce and ONIONS, and in the 2nd lettuce, garlic and swiss chard. Working at the garden untill this point wasn’t easy, because of the lack of time: I did it in the week ends, in the evenings when the days became to get longer, and even after lunch, in that half an hour I gt before going back to work.

In may Stefano, a guy i met thanks to the local GAS, came to mill the rest of the garden, and in four days I ended it with 5 more raised bads. At the beginning of may I planted much more vegetables, such as zucchini, tomatoes, cucamber, obergines.

Now in the beds there are:

N.1: zucchini

N.2: lettuce and garlic:

N.3: lettuce and onions

N.4: Carrots, chicory, radish, spinach, beetroots, swiss chard

N.5: green beans

N.6: lettuce

N.7: cucumbers, peppers, aubergines

N.8 and N.9: tomatoes

Recently, meanwhile, I started to work in a new garden, outside my courtyard. At th ebeginning of april i planted potatoes there. Then, at the beginning of may, I settled the water system and planted tomatoes (for the sause) and beans. I’d like to share, this year, part of this new garden with other people interestes in gardening. I’m thinking about Stefano and a couple of other members of the local GAS.

From now on, I’ll try to update my work in the garden on a regular basis.

Città della Pieve

dicembre 8, 2011

Beatrice graduated from the university a coulpe of weeks ago and now she’s a nurse. Of course, this event deserved a proper present, and I thought it would be nice to “give” her a special week end. Since we share a love for travelling and for  rural  contests and environments I thought a week end in a farm might be the right way to spend some good time together. A “B&B” or an “agriturismo” was the solution. But we also like a friendly and unformal contest, so I immediately thought about WWOOF, and I looked for an accomodation on that organization, expecially in Umbria and Tuscany, places reasonably close, that  I love. There were several good choises, and in the end I picked a farm in Città della Pieve, called Cimbolello. It offered a whole flat, a little one, with a bedroom, the bathroom and a kitchen: just perfect. I also loved their business, with wine, olive oil, and cheese. Their interest for greenbuildiong (they follow this way to build the two flats they rent) and their lots of connection with alternative and sustainable subjects and organizations. Thinking about WWOOF spirit, when I called them to book the flat, I even ask them if we could have the saturday night dinner together, and in the end, we had it, they invited us to their home, and we had a lovely meal with a very pleasant conversation about them and us, our volunteering in england and Italy, their business, their projects to get a better self sufficiency, their interest in movement such as Genuino Clandestino, just to say the first who get on my mind. This was just after a lovely afternoon too: when we got to their farm Luisa at first, and Francesco later too, showed us the farm, the buildings, the rooms where they store their goods and the wine, the sheep and the special politunnel where they stay and much more. They suggested to visit Città della Pieve, which is a very nice place too, just a couple of Km from their farm.

Città della Pieve

Città della Pieve

At the tourist office we were told about some Spa, really close to the town, where we could have a warm bath in outdoor pools even in the night. So, after dinner, at a reasonable time, we lead to the Spa, and we enjoyed the warm water for quite  along time, in the night, with a nice steam which came from the water, and a bit of rain too.

Terme di San Casciano in Bagno

Terme di San Casciano in Bagno

I often heard about nightly bath in Saturnia, maybe the most famous spa in Tuscany, and I wished to try. Even if not in that spot, this nightly bath of our was really cool.

The day after, we left the farm after spending some more time with Francesco and his family, and we went to Chiusi, where we were told we could find some good Etrurian itinerary. We were lucky to find a large fair down the new city, and some interesting spot up the old one. We couldn’t visit the Etrurian Tombs in the countryside, but we could see the tunnel the Etrurian dig in the city underground. Under the city of Chiusi there’s a real labirint from the Etrurian time, which was made to collect the water necessary for the people in Chiusi.

Cunicolo Chiusi sotterranea

Cunicolo Chiusi sotterranea

It was a really interesting taste of our past, back even before the roman time. It would be great to learn and see some more about this , visiting some other spot expecially in Tuscany. I already visited Volterra, for example, but I’m sure there’s much more to see.

 

last week end

novembre 29, 2011

the last week end there was Beatrice’s degree party, which was a dinner at her place with some good friends of her. It was a lovey evening, and I could enjoy it even more, since I already knew all the partecipiants. this is due to the fact that since the very beginning Beatrice introduced me all her best friends.

But, we had a really good sunday too. At the beginning of november we went to visit some oil mill in Cartoceto, an old town from the middle age, which is quite famous for its olive oil.

So, there are some old oil mills in the town and in its surrounding area, a countryside where you can find huge fields full of olive trees. We went to a really nice one, in the centre of Cartoceto, in an old building with rooms at the firts floor, and the olive press at the ground floor. We met there a lady, one of the owner i guess, who told us to come back the last sunday of november, to attend the opening of the hole in the basement, where they keep their cheese. It’s a very particular kind of cheese,

I had already heard of and watched on the television, that is seasoned underground, in a hole, following an old and typical process popular in this area. So, we didn’t forget the invitation, and last sunday we went to this event, to be honest, without great expectation. But we was wrong, because it was a really delightful event. At the beginning there was the speech of the owner, Beltrami, and few words spoke by the major. Then, we went down the basement, where the hole was, to see its opening. Some cheese, taken in bags, was bring upstairs, and share with all the participants.

The day was perfect, sunny and warm, and there were people outside, in th elittle square in front of the bulding, enjoying this really good cheese served with home made bread. Of course they had also some bruschetta with their oil. But it was possible to taste bread and cheese inside too, where the presses for the oil are. And people were sitting at the first floor, in a nice old room, with a wood roof and old piece of forniture. After lot of cheese, we were offered a nice warm plate of lentils, and then some pasta made with cheese and lemon. In the end, a lady came out in the square bringing a cake too. It’s not needed to say that since the beginning, we could enjoy as much wine as we wanted, either red or white. So in the end, we went to assist an old process of making cheese, and we got a really good meal, in a cosy and nice place with good people and friends. From now on, We will look for free meal of high quality only!!

Macerata Transition Town

novembre 14, 2011

Last week end I went to Macerata for the first local transition initiative. There’s a group of people involved with the “decrescita” movement who has organized several events for informing about transition, climate change, permaculture and other issues of high relevance nowday. On saturday there was a transition talk, held by Massimiliano Rupalti from Urbania Transition Town. It was a very interesting evening, where Massimiliano spoke about the challenges we have to face in the recent future, such as climate change and peak oil, and the way the transition movement and approach is trying to find an answer and a way to sort the problem out. It was positive to see the large participation of peole came to the talk.

On sunday the event was focussed on permaculture, with a film called “A farm for the future” and a speach held by Francesco Quondam, a pioneer of the permaculture movement in Italy. Francesco spoke about permaculture beginning from the experience in his farm in Cupramontana called “la tana del bianconiglio” and ending with wide isses and info about the italian permaculture accademy and several comment about the present society end economic system.

More films are to be showed on the next three wednesday: “the end of suburbia”, “home”, “gasland”.

Week end on the mountain

settembre 9, 2011

after the sea, the mountain. my region is great because in one hour…

CS Beach Meeting

settembre 3, 2011

This first week end of september, I went to one CS meeting I wished to join since i saw it while being in England. I saw the pictures from Braziers computer room and i thought “I missed a nice event, i Hope they’ll do it again”. And here it is. Thanks to many friends of mine from CS, there s gonna be the second edition. The party it’s about meeting at a chalet of a CSer in Marotta, from friday to sunday. We can enjoy the sea, the sun, the food, the good company of friends and interesting CSers and a tour in the surrounding towns inland. Everything is organized on the CS website, where we could find the description of the event which any memeber of this social network could join. All the directions were there, we payed with postpay to buy the groocery. Them some details have been organized by FB. It s interesting to see how easy and possible it is to organize such events as this, setting oneown party, instead of waiting and looking for private venues, parties and concerts. Internet changed our way to enjoy our spare time!! I got at the meeting point and location of the meeting at 5ish, after a slow ride by car. I met first some friends i haven’t seen for ages (Francesco from Pescara, Marco from Ascoli), and friends I met several times in the last months and I wish I could see more often. Then BEatrice came, we went to set up our tent, and we met Sabrina, who came from Ancona, and Marek, and Dante from Pescara, who gave us some really good and homemade genziana. We played table football a lot, and we had dinner all together, for long time, with pasta, arrosticini, other kind of meat and fruit. I would loved more drinks, to be honest! By the way, there were 70ish of us at the party, and only few people helped at the BBQ, which was the hard job of the whole week end, so, they deserve a picture here indeed!!

The cooks. Thank you all!!

After dinner, we stayed chatting, someone went for a bath in the sea, many people divided in groups. We went to sleep not that late, at around one o clock. i really liked to see all the people i met in the last years, with CS, but Ithink I don t like this kind of huge meeting, because I don’t have the chance to meet new people at all, expecially if i like to spend time with my friends. Maybe it would be better to check the profile of the people who are coming, to see if there’s anyone with common interests or so on. Also, we used so much plastic and we made so much rubbish. We have to work on it to make our meeting more environmentally friendly. The sunday was dedicated to the beach, and to some more food, which I helped a bit to make, even though the group from Monsampolo was so great for it. After the 30th arrosticino I asked Dante how many one can eat, and he replyed 10 in a normal meal, up to 30 if the meal is just based on arrosticini. Then he added that when he was young he ate up to 80 arrosticini. After this, I was relived and I had some more of this traditional dish from Abruzzo!! But, after all this meat (I forgot to mention that we bought 850 arrosticini, and we had only 500 on saturday night) we need to recover; thank Godf there was a yakutzi waiting for us!!

Reinvigorating water massage!!

When we left, we went to Fano, for a walk in the city centre, with Sabrina and Bea. We had a very good ice cream in one of the 25 best italian gelateria (they say!!). We all agree, as a matter of fact, that their icecream is really good. After a while Alessandra and Jorge joined us, we ended the walk and went to the Caffe del porto, to drink the local and traditional Moretta. A good way to close the week end!!

At caffè del porto