We're really getting a hang of things now. Each morning after some Italian caffé and some breakfast (fruit and/or farm fresh eggs) we take the 5 minute walk down the path to reception/the farm. Depending on the day, Jim and I will either get started on some task together, or he'll help out with the veggie garden/compost pile/landscaping while I help out with checking in guests/weeding/various reception activities. At lunch we head up to Vallibonci (home) for a yummy meal, or join our hosts at the farm for a shared one.
The afternoons are extremely varied, but more often than not we head out together to explore and clear one of the many trails on the 1200 acre land (one of our favorite responsibilities here!). We stop by the farm afterwards to say hi and check in, snag some greens from the garden and some wine from the organic farm shop, then head home for an long and lovely dinner (I cook, J cleans!). Infine, we play Uno/identify wildflowers & animal tracks/watch Game of Thrones (con vino, naturalmente), then head off to bed.
For today I wanted to give you all a closer look at Vallibonci, our home!
We live in a lovely one-bedroom apartment on the second floor, next to our neighbors Mary (motorcycle mechanic/singer) & Francesco (bee keeper/truffle hunter), and above the communal kitchen where weekly lunches are served and where the sourdough bread is baked. There is also a bedroom on the ground floor for any additional volunteers who come during the summer.
My favorite things about Vallibonci are Bobby (who greets us happily outside every single morning and night), the sunny spot near the wind chimes, and our awesome neighbors. We'd hardly met Francesco when we walked up to our door last week and he handed us an uncorked bottle of red wine that he'd been bottling outside (made by a friend, apparently). A couple of days later Mary is handing us piles of greens from her garden and 1/3 of a bottle of Vin Santo (made by the same friend), and asking me to get the chickens back in the coop for her since she's running out the door. I love farm-neighbors!
My less favorite things might be the hit-or-miss hot water and the mysterious odor that wafts from our shower each evening (fondly dubbed the Night Stink - sung by Bob Seger). But we'll take it :).
- Have any of you ever seen a mulberry bush?? We have one up near the Brentina apartments, and mulberries are delicious. Somewhat bland, but fruity & sugary - who knew? Happy Earth also has good tips on veggie gardening that I'll be checking out again.
- I came across this article just after having a conversation with our hosts about how "Italian" food in the states often means adding too much cream to pasta dishes or adding Italian dressing to salads. Ivano made the good point that naming an unhealthy pasta after "Alfred" seems just plain offensive. I'm sure with the mix of people who are always here I can look forward to plenty of our own Italian table talks.
- This post summarizes the month of May for us, as we patiently awaited our adventure! Glad to be here at last.