Tuesday, May 31, 2011


As the grass at Wimbledon is prepared ahead of the tournament so too is the grass here at Casa Margherita getting it's annual trim.

The grove always looks well kept immediately after with the trees themselves freshly pruned and full flower bud and new growth.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

28 June 2011

Bit overcast today so spent a couple of hours cutting the grass in the grove and as I write this we having a downpour which is welcome as the ground is quite dry as we have not had much rain this year.

Buona fortuna for Alonso tomorrow in Monte Carlo. Think he has a good chance.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011


I was walking to the veg patch....stop me if you've heard this one before... and my approach disturbed a male pheasant and his numerous chicks ( I reckon about 10) who had been shading themselves in the potato patch. It was quite a departure.

Taking a break from cutting the grass - bit dull every day and am building with carpenter's assistant, Rachel, a shady area in the garden. I will post a photo when we've finished.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Hail the asparagus pickers

The great benefit of the wild asparagus pickers roaming the olive groves in spring is that they prevent the asparagus growing into this wooden prickly weed that is difficult to clear.

Tomorrow is the monthly km 0 farmers market in Trevi so hopefully the weather pattern of the last few days will be followed. Very warm before lunch, thunderstorms after and then clearing up by early evening.

This means that there should be people at the market and then I can watch the Grand Prix without guilt after lunch - forza Ferrari.

Later on possible some light gardening interspersed with last day of the football season updates.

Thursday, May 19, 2011


Another day starts to draw to a close.

Good day today. Delivered some fresh olive oil supplies to an enoteca in Montefalco and then spent the afternoon strimming the grass.

We have on our olive label the 5 key elements for good quality olive oil. They are sun, stones, stress, solitude and silence.

The later is really dealt a real blow as the machine I use to cut the grass puts out over 100db so Casa Margherita is not a tranquil place to be at the moment. Will also mean I will need a ear trumpet or two at some point like someone else I know.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Time to mow the grass

With the finishing of the pruning it's time to mow the grass. As you can see, if this were a lawn you'd say  it was out of hand but this is very normal.

I quite enjoy cutting it as it brings out my destructive/creative side.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011


At the Trevi cheese festival on Sunday I bought a bottle a beer from a micro brewery based in Montefalco.

I am sampling it now and it is very good. Called "copper" it is like an english ale to my palate.

Check them out at www.birracamiano.com

Monday, May 16, 2011

Trevi election update

We went to vote this morning. 

Strangely we were given a pencil to put a cross against the candidate we wanted as mayor and then you had to write the name of you choice for the council. I think I pen would be better as you can rub a pencil mark out!

Have just checked and the centre left candidate, Bernardino Sperandio, has won by just 12 votes. I think there might be a re-count. I would want one if I came second by that margin. 

Sunday, May 15, 2011


This was the view from our kitchen window not very long ago. May?

Today there was a cheese festival in Trevi. The Italian's like language and to play with language and so it was called Formaggio, Maggio meaning the month of May and formaggio meaning cheese. Sadly not a good day for the festival.

Some say it was a piece of electioneering by one of the mayoral candidates on voting weekend which is illegal...................

We went in early this morning to see what was going on but it was a bit too early as most stallholders were still setting up. However we did meet a couple from Montefalco who were selling beer from their micro brewery. I have to try it but will let you know.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Roses and insects

This blood red rose looks great against the stone of our house.

Other of our roses are not looking so good as they are being ruined by insects. There is a type of insect that burrows into the flower bud, fornicates and then eats the bud. This happening seemingly under the supervision of ants.

My studies of the animal kingdom have not been great and Rachel would indeed describe my knowledge of the animal world as primitive but I merely report what I see in this case.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Election time

The end of this week will see all Trevani have the option to vote for a new Sindico (mayor) for a five year term.

As a friend said everyone is your friend when you go into to Trevi now as everyone is campaigning hard. For some context, Trevi has a population of just over 8,000.

Trevi has been historically a left leaning town as has Umbria in general. This election we have a new national leftist party putting up a local candidate. Headed by the "charismatic" (his words not mine)  Nichi Vendola, the snappily named Sinistra Ecologia Liberta party have been making a wave in Italian politics.

We wait to see if this has an impact on the result. I'll let you know the result.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Cutting grass

Now is the time for everyone to cut grass. Farmers are making hay in the fields. Grove owners are cutting the grass between the trees ( I will start soon). The council are clipping the roadsides and home owners are tending the prized lawn.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

After the pruning

Once we finish pruning then it is time to dispose of the pruning.

The larger trunks are reduced to logs and stored for use next winter. With the rest we try to chip as much as possible. Here we are using the chippings to cover grass and create paths in the veg garden.

Alternatively, we leave the chippings for 12 months and then can use them as compost next year.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Ok so..

Cue roll of drums, a trumpet fanfare, a 21 gun salute, a chorus of angels, a fly past, a crescendo of violins and two pints of lager and a packet of crisps.

Yes I have finished the pruning. Around 500 trees pruned with the very hands that are typing these words. Hurrah for another year.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Poppies pinging

The roadsides, fields and groves are currently full of wild poppies. The red of them really pings out in the Umbrian landscape.

Monday, May 2, 2011


Running an internet business means you do not often get feedback from your customers so I was delighted to receive an e-mail this morning from someone who had adopted an olive tree (http://www.casa-margherita.com/adopt-tree/index.html) for their father as a birthday present and he had taken a picture of the initial tin of oil he received amoungst the vegetables he had grown - he is 100% Italian albeit living in America.

I think he wants to come and help harvest the olives to make sure his 2 litres of olive oil is all his work.

I am glad he is enjoying his adoption.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

And they're in

Thirty six San Marzano planted, staked and with a watering system. This will be enough to keep us in passata from September through to next summer.

Actually got all our summer veg in so it's back to pruning which I want to finish this week weather permitting.