Tuesday, 15 September 2009

at 06:32 Labels: Posted by WanderingFamily

We are now visiting our next WWOOF farm, near the town Cecina (near Piza) along the coast.
Valerio picked us up from the train station (in his old Citroen which for $500 he converted to run on natural gas (methane), which seems to be popular in Italy with many stations to fill up) and took us to his home and farm - Il Gabbruccino - where he and Rosa have lived for the past 8 years.
They are both city people turned farm people who met at the university. It was a huge and rustic old house which they are constantly restoring. In the beginning the entire roof leaked and they had to fix it slowly room by room. The first 3 years they had no water until they discovered a well which provides water in the winter but runs dry in the summer (so they have to fill up tanks in town). They also had no electricity for the first 4 years but now they have it in half of the rooms. They also started out with no toilet but years later put one in, but they have yet to have a tub or shower.

When we got there there were two WWOOFers already there, a married couple from Monterrey, California, and it was nice to have work companions and share travel and other farm-working stories.

Our work day was very casual, starting at 10 o'clock (why get up earlier? Rosa asked us) with lunch at 1 and finishing up work around 5.

Our work the past week included cutting down bamboo, 'shucking' it, and building fences, collecting firewood in the forest (with instructions to only take what had fallen or left by others), chopping the wood, and pulling out roots to prepare new gardens.
Our meals were wonderful. Rosa ran an organic restaurant in the summers a few years back and loved to cook and she showed us how to make a few dishes. Our first night we made gnocchi (potato/flour dumplings) in a just-picked wild asparagus/garlic/olive oil sauce. The second night we made fresh whole-wheat pasta with a manual pasta machine. The whole time we were there she was very accommodating, making all of the meals vegan for us, keeping the cheese on the side. We felt very welcomed there, though I think Omo was the favorite