Gardening Magazine

La Fattoria

By Kate_miller
La FattoriaOn my bucket list - created long before that movie came out - was the deep desire to live in Europe for one year. I never achieved that, and probably never will, but my month here was just long enough that things started to feel 'normal.'
La Fattoria
Normal and different at the exact same time.
It would have been nice to have sheets on the bed. I got a narrow duvet and that's that.  Every evening when I climb into the sack I think: I could teach you people a thing or two about cuddly comfort...
La Fattoria
I've still not met a single person who owns a clothes dryer. And, while it makes for great photos I'll be thrilled to say arrivederci to scratchy, line-dried towels. (Score one for the Americans.)
La FattoriaI do love the fact that they're huge on slippers. (They hand you a pair when you show up at their house and it took all of my willpower not to snitch these little cuties.)
I suppose the biggest eye opener, and inspiration for when I get home, is how very fortunate we are to have... space.
My Italian friend giggles, when asked about her new life. I married the whole package, she says.
And, indeed she did. Her husband's family lives to the south on a self-sustaining, highly productive farm with beautiful, nutrient-rich soil enabling them to grow anything their hearts desire.

La Fattoria

Casa di Luciano

Her mother-in-law is the classic, doting, Italian Mom who stuffs us with food and chatters happily the whole time she's cooking up the next delightful course.
La Fattoria

I thought this was way cool but hard to photograph.ABOVE the kitchen sink is ~ what looks like ~ a normal cupboard but it's so much better than that. The bottom shelf is actually a metal grate. Place your wet, washed dishes into this cupboard, close the door and they're out of sight.They drip-dry, water falling back into the sink.This is fantastic if you, like me, 
always offer to dry vs. wash, in thanks for a tasty meal. 
'Cause that meant I got to go watch t.v.
So, back to the whole space thing. Hearing about the farm, and all that they produce, I figured 5... maybe 10 acres.
When I arrived, I was shocked, and a little embarrassed, to see that they accomplish all of this on less land than I own back home.
La Fattoria

I wish I could show you pictures to do this place justice.
The farm is dormant in winter. A sleeping garden, dotted with the promise of tiny green shoots preparing for a new season.

La Fattoria

I got scolded for turning on the lights during the day. Natural light, only, when the sun is shining.

La Fattoria

This has my brain working overtime on all the new things I can squeeze into my own garden space ~ that I thought was stuffed to the gills prior to my visit.
So, I'm devoting my final days in paradise to stealing as many seeds as I can! If I can sneak through customs, I might have gifts for one and all.
This is how Luciano and I filled the wood bins to warm the house. 
He stands outside, passing logs into me, through the kitchen window, where what looks like a second oven is actually the 'furnace.'
* La Fattoria means 'the farm house.' This is the last of my blogging diary from Bressanone, Italy, where I am working for the month of February.

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