Monday, March 17, 2014

Mothering Sunday Gift

Looking for a great gift for Mothers Day. Why not adopt an olive tree? Choose from a Young & Virile, a Full Flush or an Elder Statesman. Find out more at

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Pruning has begun

The hillsides of Umbria are pretty busy at the moment as pruning is in full swing.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Give us our daily bread

Bread is an every day purchase in Italy from one of the numerous bakeries that flourish or from a shop or supermarket where there is a wide choice available.

Umbrian bread is traditionally made without salt which results from the Umbrian's refusing to be impoverished by a Papal salt tax. The tax no longer applies but the bread is still made without salt.

The bread is in general firm and after a day can be used as a basic building material. Hence the need to buy bread daily. It is perfect for bruschetta however.

Being English we here at Casa Margherita preferred a softer sandwich type bread. The type that when you press down on your freshly made sandwich you leave your finger indents in the bread. Finally after nearly eight years we have found a loaf that could pass as made in England. Pazienza!

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Le pecore

In days gone by olive grove owners allowed the local shepherds/esses to graze their flocks though the groves. There were two great benefits to the grove owners of this. The sheep kept the grass down and they fertilized the trees.

When we moved here, we, as wet behind the ears Londoners, were happy to have added to the contract for the house and land the fact that the local shepherd could not graze his sheep on our land. Doh!

He has recently asked us if he can return to grazing his sheep on our land as it makes his passage over the hill easier. We are very happy for him to return. However, Winnie and Ugo will not be so happy as they will need to put up with some very aggressive looking sheep dogs.