The everyday ramblings of a Tuscan olive farmer.
As good a title as any for this blog but I had better point out where you could be misled by some of its components.
First; I may not ramble every day, maybe every few days.
Tuscan? Unfortunately whilst being a European mix I am not (to the best of my knowledge) descended from the Etruscans. But I do live here and hope that possession is still nine tenths, as in Roman law.
Olive farmer, well yes actually, but we do a lot more than olives in these ‘trying to increase biodiversity on the farm’ days: Vines (planted this year and tiny, planted mainly to escape the shame of being the only farm at Montalcino with no vines. It has ‘pub with no beer’ connotations in these parts). Fruit trees (numerous, diverse and doing well despite mutterings that they don’t ‘do’ here. They do if you can stop the deer eating them first). Lavender (don’t ask). Veg (brilliant, from artichokes to aubergines via melons and tomatoes they reassure me that there is something to be said for this farming lark). Fodder for the sheep. Green manures (for the land and our consciences). Weeds….(quite good at this one).
Apart from the sheep we keep we also have many other animals who share the farm with us; deer, wild boar, hare, porcupine, foxes, weasely things, the occasional snake and reputedly the occasional wolf. These are broadly welcome, now that we have fenced the veg, except in the not yet knee high vineyard which has had to be sprayed with something organic with a smell off putting to deer (and humans).
The next ramblings will focus on our olive harvest, just finished pressed and gone to London for the Chelsea Physic Garden Christmas Fair.