Feeding the Olives

Today Fabio, Marinella and I set about the large task of fertilizing the Olive Trees. Using natural fertilizer we worked each terrace to the top of the property. Its quite a hike and from the top the 180 degree view of the valley is spectacular.

Here is the Website for Fabio and Marinella’s Farm and Apartments.

CHECK IT OUT! http://www.casalebozzo.com/index.html

Vegetable Garden Begun

We have made excellent progress on the vegetable garden. Over the weekend Marinella and I turned earth, returned earth, weeded and seeded.  Now we have planted two furrows of tomatoes, dug holes for squash and eggplant and spread manure and compost throughout the freshly turned earth. We feel quite accomplished, yet there is more work to be done. Today i turned compost piles, moving one from the plastic bin, that has been laying in fermentation for about a year to two open aired bins. The first pile that was in the bin was not getting enough oxygen so it was very wet. It was taking much longer to become dirt/compost. So my big task today was to take all the weeds and brush that we have been collecting on and off and thoroughly turn three piles of compost. Now they are cooking in the open, getting smelly. Tomorrow we are heading down the hill to a local market  to buy seedling starters for lettuce, squash and some flowers to plant in pots. Hopefully the tomatoes that we planted will germinate, however we may need to buy some sprouts just in case.

Fun fact: Marinella refuses to buy fresh tomatoes that are imported. In fact she doesn’t buy any fruit or veg that is imported. Almost all fruits and vegetables are grown in Italy.

Nettle Compost

Here is a recipe for some strong compost. I learned yesterday that nettles make a very good compost when left to ferment. All you have to do is place the weeded nettles into a bucket and pour in some water and let sit for a week. After you will have some ripe and stinky compost.

Casale Bozzo

Hello farm world. I have begun my adventure. I am currently in Italia, staying on an olive farm. The region i am in is Tuscany and the city is Montecatini. However, just outside the city are hills, with ancient villages resting on top. I am staying just between the village of Massa and Cozzile. The place i am stay is called Casale Bozzo. Here, they harvest olives and make their own Olive Oil. In fact all around are Olive Groves.  It is the main type of farming here, because the olive trees can grow on steep inclines. The terrain is extremely mountainous, so the land is cultivated in to terraces, step like rows in which the olive trees can grown. So from a far the view is quite amazing, one can see steps after steps and row and row of olive trees, cutting out the land scape of the hills. The harvest season however is in the fall, so my duties will be to help start a vegetable garden. That will begin in the coming weeks.