Home-grown and Home-made ~ Romancing Italy

Jul 23, 2009

Home-grown and Home-made

Every Tuesday morning a little old truck makes its way up the winding road that leads towards our village. It stops at the house a short distance below ours and the driver lifts the tarp on the side exposing an assortment of fresh produce and fruit. Bruna is usually waiting for him with her basket, ready to buy what she doesn't grow herself.

Families for generations have managed their own little plot of land for home-grown vegetables. If they are not fortunate to have a plot of land with their home, they have a plot in the country... and they make the daily journey to tend it. A's parents live in an old medieval town and have their plot of land in the outskirts of the city to which they walked before they had transport.

Here in Borgosesia, I frequently pass garden upon garden that seems unattached to any home, but I realize now they are an extension of a family or families probably living in the center.

Home-grown vegies is just one tradition passed on through generations. There are also families who have produced their own cheese and still do today. These are not usually made for sale but when friends hear that there is a batch, many swing by with an offer to buy.

Livio lives up the road from us and stopped briefly to chat with A. He mentioned that he had just seen one of their mutual friends who makes cheese and had bought 3 of them. When he continued home, he carried only two and the other one came to sit happily on our chopping block.

This is something I like about old Italy and what you frequently encounter in the villages... things are home-made or home-grown and shared whether sold or given as gifts (zuchinni seems to go around frequently in summer).

Life continues the "hard" way in terms of labor but it is a rewarding thing to be self supporting.
Perhaps because of the labor involved in everyday village life, people are more inclined to help each other because they know first-hand what 'work' is like and they are ready to give just as much as they are willing to receive.

Bruna does not drive and it is in keeping with the old tradition that the vegetable truck makes the trip to her home.

I love Italy.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Bev,
    My sentiments go along with yours. Why can't the world be full of smallholdings?


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