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

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Friday, 31 May 2013

In the meantime, back in Italy...

I'll come back to the survey on the land in Bulgaria, but for the moment we are back in Italy and I thought I'll keep you all up-to-date on what's been happening in Italy in the meantime.  The boys we left in charge have been working... well not that hard, but don't be too hard on them.  The weather has been crap during the month we were away, unlike in Bulgaria where we had a month of sunshine and temperatures in the upper 20's, low 30's.  So they couldn't really get out that much and that combined with the amounts of rain promoting the growth of weeds, it's tricky.  Even the week we've been back, there were only really two half decent days to fight back the jungle, today being one of them.

Everything is late this year, the cherries, the plums, the figs, the pears, but on the plus side, all the trees and shrubs we planted in the food forest and elsewhere, as well as the potatoes, had a good watering in and survived happily and were glad to be freed from the encroaching weeds.

First priority was freeing the potato terraces and earthing them up.  This is the higher potato terrace, which they share with the kiwis.  One of the female kiwis died this winter, whilst Stud the male is coming down with flowers.  The surviving female still is a bit shy, I hope she'll be put to shame by Jenny the bi-sexual kiwi (she used to call herself John...), which you can see in the foreground together with Ronaldo the fig tree.

 The lower potato terrace was a creation by the late Bart inside the future food forest. Note the interesting zigzag line neatly avoiding Jenny (no relation) the Rotella apple tree, Arthur the autumn olive, Heike the gingko tree and Gina the Tuscan broom.

In other news in the food forest, Sally the service tree is doing is well:

...ably supported by Ellie the elaeagnus ebingeii (by supplying nitrogen)

...and everything else survived including Conny the Cornelian cherry and Yukako the Japanese quince:

The future pond hasn't really progressed much, but Charity the mahonia is bearing edible fruit.  Bet you didn't know you could eat the fruit of this plant which is usually grown for decorative purposes.

...and the milk thistles (silibum marianum) is thriving, a great medical plant for liver problems.

In final news, Paul the mulberry tree (Mull of Kintyre...) is already forming fruit despite still being in a pot rather that in it's final location the arbo-loo (a hole in the ground, where you shit in and afterwards plant a tree in).  The reason it hasn't been planted yet is that the alternative to the arbo-loo, the compost toilet, has yet be constructed too.  So the boys have their work cut out.

Wish them luck and better weather as we head off on another odyssey northwards on various family business.  Oh and for those of you with an interest in wine as well as gardening and Italy, I have started a new blog on that subject where I share my wine adventures on my travels.  Pop in on the Wine Anarchist and visit me there too!

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