Monday, August 29, 2016

an evening in campagna

Great neighbors in Mesagne own a beautiful farm just on the outskirts of town and the kids and I were invited to visit it this past trip. Give them some land to run around on, fruit and vegetables to be hand-picked and a gorgeous evening in a favorite place of mine and that makes for happy kids and a click-happy mama. Just some photos from our evening on the farm.

Thankfully I'm raising fruit and vegetable eaters. Truthfully they don't have much say in the matter when it comes to me because it's part of our daily diet end.of.story. All three eat fruit really well, it's the vegetables I have to coerce and sometimes bribe into finishing. But having them see the farm where most produce came from while in Mesagne I hope helps them to understand the process a bit more and not just that we go to a supermarket and get our fruit and vegetables.

They helped pick plums, peaches, tomatoes, pears and peppers for Nonna Lisa.

Mario enjoyed picking the pomodorini the best.

The colors of the farm are a favorite of mine and something I could get lost in photographing quite easily. Uccio was great to show me each tree and plant, a farmer truly proud of his work. He gets to his farm very early each morning to tend to his land and is so generous and what he gives our family. It was a very special treat (pun intended) for me to walk around his land and take pictures that evening.

That purple plant is an artichoke plant and one of the prettiest flowering vegetables in my opinion. Also one of the tastiest...artichokes in pasta, on pizza, chopped on bruschetta with olive oil, stuffed and baked or just straight of the jar. Delizioso!

Mario is the perfect age for roaming around a farm and got dirt under his nails, plum juice on his clothes and smelled of the sun when we returned home. Olivia followed Uccio and an outsider looking in would show an aspiring farmer as she hung onto each word. Sofia had her little camera and snapped up pictures right behind me and took fruit willingly to taste. Uccio and his wife Cetta were so great with my kids, showing them everything and happy to see them enjoying it all. 

A farmer - the very definition of dedication, persevering, and resourcefulness. Wakes with the sun to care for his crops, work with his hands to tend to his piece of this earth and feed his family and friends. A man proud of his land and generous enough to share in his wealth.

The simple act of buying direct from the farms could result in so much less waste and preservation of our lands. America included of course. The ease with which to visit supermarkets and buy all in one swoop, convenient trip unfortunately outweighs the importance of supporting these very lands. I'm guilty of it and am reminded of this need to support local, eat fresh and avoid the big chains whenever I speak with a shop owner, take the kids to one of many local farms or visit Italy. It needs to become something more consistent for me and pass onto my children this importance as well.

Fortunate to know these people my entire life, since I was 4 months old. They have watched me play in the street in front of our homes, they have welcomed me to town each summer I visited after moving to America, they share with me in the abundance their farm has to offer and now proudly take my children and I to visit their home away from home. Their campagna.

So very grateful to have had that experience.

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