Saturday, September 17, 2016

Harvest Times Valleriana Tuscany



Dear Art Lover,
     Every day I feel grateful and lucky as hell.  The people in my newly adopted home neighborhood are so kind to me and my mind has calmed a lot being surrounded by the Nature of the hills of Tuscany.  Firenze is a lovely city, full of art and interesting situations, but it is still a city.  I am a Nature Girl and I love being home.  The Italians call a village a paese (pie-eh-seh), which means ‘country.’  Context is everything to understanding Italian.  North of the Comune (City) of Pescia in Tuscany is a scattered group of ten paese.  They are collectively called Valleriana.

Sunflowers in Valleriana, Tuscany, Italy

il paese in Valleriana Tuscany Italy with growing beans of Sorana
One paese in Valleriana Tuscany Italy with growing beans of Sorana
     I am sad that summer is coming to an end, but then, it seems that everything eventually does; even if not really.  Life is a sine wave, but the time is flying by!  I include some images from walking distance around my home.  I am extremely lucky that my landlord repeatedly offers me anything I want in his campo (field/farm).   Almost everything in these hills is terraced land. 

     In Italy, each region has its crop or products that are famous, at least in the rest of the country [meaning Italy].  Besides having many varieties of a tomato, for example, each region of Italia has a unique environment.  This lends a special sapore (flavor) to produce grown in one region over another.  The Italians are quite sensitive on taste.  Before I came to bella Italia, I did not know that one should not put a tomato in the refrigerator, as it loses flavor there.  I did not pay attention as much to the specific flavor of a tomato.  Oh, that is not entirely true:  I remember now that the Mexican Roma tomatoes were my favorite when I lived in Texas.  The second favorite is cherry tomatoes because one can pop ‘em inside the mouth for an internal explosion experience!  But, I am certainly learning to distinguish more now!

     Valleriana has many products and fresh foods grown here [including pomodori (tomatoes), but the most well-known might be the white beans of Sorana.  That harvest of beans that I helped with will be featured in the next post.  These images today were taken around the end of August/early September. 

     I still do not have a car, although it is getting a driver’s license here that is the hold-up.  The laws have changed on this as well and it is now very difficult and very expensive to receive a driver’s license here.  No more transferring a valid American driver’s license for an Italian one.  I heard that is because with the immigrant situation here, many people are arriving in Italy without the ability to drive or even to read.  Some have drinking habits and drive while drunk.  Italy has made it more difficult to get the license to try to stop irresponsible or unqualified drivers to be on the roads.  I find this ironic since Italy has also been famous for its crazy (Italian) drivers!  And up on the sidewalk we go! Haha. 

     So, the image of the truck is one way that I am able to buy food that I do not receive from my landlord’s gardens.  Once a week, these brothers drive their van around Valleriana.  Mostly they sell veggies and fruits, but they also have some sausages, GOOD parmigiano cheeses, and some food produces in glass jars, such as artichoke hearts.  They stop not far from my home, but I must catch them since deliver time varies depending on how many customers in any given season.

      Enjoy and go natural!
Peace,
Kelly


Sunflowers grown beneath the local church tower Valleriana Italy

Faggioli di Sorana; growing beans in Valleriana Tuscany
Faggioli di Sorana; growing beans in Valleriana Tuscany


Happy Christmas Trees grow in my favorite patch of Tree Farm Valleriana Tuscany
Happy Christmas trees grow in my favorite patch of tree farm Valleriana
Brothers deliver fresh produce for sale in the hills of Valleriana
Brothers deliver fresh produce for sale in the hills of Valleriana
Sorana beans netted for protection against animals Valleriana hills of Tuscany
Sorana beans netted for protection against animals; Terraced hills of Tuscany
Fig trees with ready fruit in Tuscany Valleriana
Fig trees - man, do I eat well here!
Olives growing for hopeful harvest in November Valleriana
Olives growing for hopeful harvest in November in Valleriana
Lavender harvest Stone carving sand bags
Lavender; back: making sandbags for stone carving
Sorana beans co-habit terraced land with olive trees Valleriana Italy
Sorana beans co-habit terraced land with olive trees
Grape harvest in Tuscany
Never forget the grapes!



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