Facing the Orto

Heeding the advice of one of my followers I finally faced my orto a couple of days ago and prepared it for various vegetable plantings.

The quantity of seed potatoes given to us by the owner of the local second-hand shop, Antiche Novità, (see post at https://longoio2.wordpress.com/2015/04/10/what-a-load-of-junk/ ) finally found their place.

This area has been planted with a variety of legumes including chickpeas, beans, maize and spring onions.

I started up my row of tomatoes with two varieties so far, including the “canestrino di Lucca”. This is a local variety which is over a hundred years old. It’s shaped like a pear, red with green near its neck, very sweet in taste and firm in texture. The canestrino’s great for the salad bowl and also for making pomarola (tomato) sauce for spaghetti etc.

This is what my plants should be producing by June (I hope):

foto

The scarecrows will have to have much more beauty treatment to make them really effective, I think:

One of my flower basins had been devastated by a daino (deer). It gave a whole different meaning to the phrase “I like flowers”. I’ve now replanted it with geraniums hoping the floral animal won’t munch them too.

The rest of the orto is really a little park of our own where we’ll have our birthday party in the height of summer. Meanwhile it’s great watching the trees sprouting their new foliage.

The olives look happy as they overlook the lovely Val di Lima.

It all makes a great change from when I attempted to have an allotment in south-east London. There the soil was unbelievably clayey and the views weren’t half as brilliant as they are here.

I’ve yet to prune the olives into the characteristic umbrella shape mature trees have but I’m not particularly interested in adding to the already considerable olive production in this part of the world. For me olive trees are lovely plants to have in one’s orto, and I love the way the sun catches their silver leaves.

My fruit tree blossoms are still abounding, presaging good harvests:

Grass-cutting is a difficult task especially when there are so many lovely meadow flowers around but it’s necessary especially before next month’s explosion of natural growth.

After all this work it’s nice to retire to the hammock and put one’s feet up with a can of something cold and refreshing.

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