It takes some willpower to go down to the vegetable garden on a cold, gloomy February day. But as soon as I’m out the door and heading down the main street of the village, my spirits lift. Even though driving rain for the last two days has melted all the snow around Casabasciana, the Alpi Apuane in the distance are dusted white.
My camera and I aren’t up to showing you how beautiful the 3-minute walk to the orto is. And as for how fresh the air smells…
Around the next curve and I can see the Prato Fiorito capped with snow and the Apennines stretching back into the distance.
My last report on the vegetable garden was in September. I’m now harvesting what we planted then, but it’s not a great success story. I followed the instructions of the man I bought the plantlets from, but you need a magnifying glass to see the fennel bulbs.
Any experienced fennel growers out there who can tell me what I did wrong? Maybe the same thing as the Savoy cabbage? Are they a special variety for one-person households?
Then there’s the Cercospora leaf spot on the bietola (Swiss chard), but I’m cleaning that up and the new leaves are clear and green.
The cavolo nero stands sturdily against all ravages except mine. It’s so good in soups and on crostini.
If I start to feel depressed or bewildered, I only have to look up.