orWine Tastings in the Comfort of you own villa or B&B while on holiday in Tuscany or Liguria

To book an informative and fun wine tasting whilst holidaying in Italy or arrange for a wild food walk in your area contact me on tuscanytipple at libero dot it or check out my Facebook page

Total Pageviews

Sunday, 26 April 2009

Our Terraces Part I

Well, we’ve been busy, busy, busy. The weather has been doing what you expect of it in April, i.e. the unexpected: showers followed by warm sunshine, then a touch of hail. Nothing overly dramatic though and all in all the sunshine has dominated. So we’ve got all our terraces strimmed nicely and a few more beds dug over in readiness for the runner bean planting next week and to make room for the peppers and aubergines to be planted out. The tomatoes are already out. We are also eating our daily ration of lovely fresh broad beans, as well as lettuces and radishes, which now have reached the size of tennis balls!.

The broad beans are just so nice and they represent the quintessential taste of spring for me. I wonder if some village or other in Italy has thought of doing a ‘sagra della fava’, a broad bean feast, they have a sagra around any other foodstuff. Must find out, and if not, I shall plant 2 terraces with broad beans next year and invite the whole village to my own sagra della fava, probably around the first of May. Anyone else up for that? Or anyone knows a good recipe for broad beans, please leave it on my comments.

Today, it’s raining a bit more persistently today, I’m starting a new 9-part series. Yesterday, on ‘Liberation Day’ (Italians are currently discussing whether to call it Liberty Day or Liberation Day), I took a series of photos, of each of our 18 terraces. I thought I’ll publish them here, so you all have a bit more of an idea of what we’re working on. As my internet connection is excruciatingly slow, downloading all 18 photos onto one blog-entry would take days, and similarly other people with the same problem would need ages, before they would actually see anything. So I’ll bring them out in bite-size chunks, starting from the top, working our way down. All photos were taken on the 25th April at about 10am. Obviously this a snap shot, things were different a week before or a month hence, but it gives you a flavour.

Here is the top terrace:

As you can see, it’s next to the access road and is very narrow. It’s not really much use apart as for somewhere to leave our bikes. I planted am agave, which had outgrown it’s pot and at the far end is a mature olive tree. Along the top is a row of trees, mostly oak, but also one sweet chestnut and one pear. I’m not sure whether they are still ours or not, but I pick the pears and chestnuts anyway. And if one of the oak trees is starting to look a bit pale around the nose, I chop’em down for some firewood. That is because they are a royal pain in the butt. They drop their acorns onto our land, where the seedlings become a right nuiscance. Now if I had pigs, they’d love the stuff. So any ivy growing up those oak trees is positively encouraged. I suppose those trees also serve a function to keep the road on top of our land, rather than at the bottom…, so maybe I should replace any felled ones with something more useful, like more sweet chestnuts for example.

Terrace 2 is what this year is known as ‘the potato terrace’. It’s also quite narrow, so I could only sow one row of potatoes. It’s the first year we’ve put anything on it. In the foreground you see an apple tree and at the far end another olive tree. In between I planted the pomegranate shrub this winter. After lifting the spuds I’m hoping to replant vines onto that terrace next winter.

So much for today, don’t miss part two of the series, coming up on your computerscreens any day now

No comments: