Saturday, April 30, 2011

Heavy cropping

Today was our important visit to a particular garden centre on the way to Bevagna where we buy the main summer vegetables for our veg garden. So, we have a lot of San Marzano tomatoes, round chillies that we like to stuff with potato and anchovies or pickle, purple sprouting basil, normal basil, cucumbers, aubergine, pumpkin and onions.

All are destined to be planted tomorrow and so fill up the Casa Margherita veg patch. Add some sun and occasional water and a good harvest will be had.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011


Well, today I am feeling somewhat rundown as we finished the three days of the Pic&Nic festival in Trevi. They were good days with the weather pretty good despite the forecast. I sold a bit of olive oil, met some nice people, met some not so nice people and ate too much porchetta.

Now it's back to pruning which I would like to finish in the next week.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Men and washing lines

Our washing line broke recently and so we bought a new one:-

Housewife wire.

Now this part of Umbria is, shall we say, biased towards the male so hanging washing like cooking, ironing, and most household chores are a no go area for the male.

If I was spotted hanging out the washing,as I do,  then I would be drummed out of the olive oil producers association and pilloried throughout Trevi.

It is interesting to note however that this company is encouraging the fairer sex to sort out the TV aerial, fence the land, keep cattle and try to enjoy camping. Change is a coming.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Pic & Nic

Easter weekend will see Casa Margherita in Piazza Mazzini during Pic&Nic. Come and say ciao if your in the area.

I have a pruning head on at the moment as I want to get finished by the end of the month.

Just seen a great news headline that said the last supper was on a Wednesday. Brilliant.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Che tempo

Yesterday was sunny and this morning we awoke to feisty winds and snow covered hill tops. But as this photo shows this evening is sunny and still and all the snow has melted away.

It was too windy to prune so back to stockpiling wood.

In the distant background you can see La Rocca of Spoleto.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011


Back pruning so mean groving I guess. Still got some way to go before finishing but every day some more are pruned.

These ranunculus look startling against the white/limestone of the stone of Casa Margherita and so we try in summer to have a few pots with vibrant red flowers so they zing.

Monday, April 11, 2011

A phenomena

We were having lunch yesterday when I noticed this yellow/green plume being 'released' in various areas of the predominantly pine covered hillside.

Thought is might be a fire but then the colour was wrong and fires make a noise. This was silent.

Different parts of the hillsides had these releases. The only thing we could think of was a massive pollen release by the pine trees. The timing would be right. None the less not something either of us have witnessed before.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Bustin' with life

This is a shot of our fig tree which shows the freshness, energy and vibrancy of spring where every plant is bursting with life and vigour.

Friday, April 8, 2011

How cute

This was Winnie this morning while awaiting for us to have coffee and then go for a walk.

After this, Casa Margherita's top salesman clambered into the company Fiat Panda and entered Montefalco into his mental satnav. The aim was to get some shops to either stock Casa Margherita oil or at least take a sample so they could taste it and then decide.

And bingo our oil will, from tomorrow, be on sale in L'Alchimista Enoteca in Montefalco.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Short back and sides

I think these two shots show quite well the basics of pruning which I have blogged about before. The pruned tree is full of whispy growth from last year that will bear fruit this year. The middle of the tree is free of growth and there are no crossing or rubbing branches - or none you can see at least.

Job done. Only another 400 or so to go.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

The green green grass of home

A top tune by an old crooner and hwat we have at Casa Margherita.

The combination of early morning dews and daytime temperatures of 20 degrees  means that everything is growing like crazy. The grass in the grove is lush and green like this.

The groves are quite busy as well with people searching for wild asparagus. This will cease as the dews stop and the daytime temperatures increase and the increased  presence of snakes deters the foragers.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Posh spice

Cascia is about 50 km's from Trevi in the hills between Umbria and the Adriatic coast. It has recently seen a resurgence in the growing of saffron (zafferano in Italian) and they have approached it marketing in an innovative way.

The growers have formed a co-operative and so all use the packaging shown above and all sell at standard prices.

I wouldn't have guessed Umbria as a saffron growing region but as they say here "non capisco un tubo"

We're hoping to buy some bulbs in summer and so enjoy Casa Margherita saffron when harvested in October.