Monday, June 23, 2014

Italian Vegetable Gardens

One of the pleasures of travel is finding vegetable gardens in other places.  On a recent visit to Italy, I was amazed at the number of home gardens, their size, and their variety.   They almost always include fruit and olive trees.   The olives are harvested and taken to an olive press, where the oil is press and bottled.  Imagine using first cold pressed olive oil from your own trees. Fruits include apples, peaches, apricots, plums, and perhaps others.

 I was able to bring home seeds for San Marzano tomatoes, a variegated chicory for planting this fall, courgettes (small zuchinni with large flowers that are cooked right along with the zuchinni or stuffed and served separately), Italian eggplants, and Florence fennel.  It will be interesting to see how they fare in a North Florida garden. 

The gardens of Northern Italy where we visited were somewhat behind our Florida gardens, as the latitude is much farther north and the nights are quite cool.  I was told they have just begun to use straw mulch to keep the plant roots warm.  Enjoy with me some of the beautiful gardens seen in Borgio Verezzi (near the sea), and Onore (in the mountains). 

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