A Taste of Organic Farming in Tuscany.
While still on a bit of a high from my trip to Italy, I had the privilege of interviewing Alessio Maina, an organic wine and olive farmer in the province of Arezzo, Italy. In this interview Alessio and I discussed organic practices applied to his small acreage and why it is more a matter of quality than it is quantity when it comes to harvesting local crops. This is of course much different than the agriculture practices we are exposed to on the prairie provinces. Quantity over quality. Local, high-quality regional foods is the norm for the locals of Arezzo and other neighboring provinces of Italy.
Other topics discussed in the interview include ancient wheat varieties making a comeback, local honey, forestation as a farming practice, mushroom foraging, olive oil extraction, and more. One topic that was not discussed but worth noting is the quality of water found in the region. Because the land is somewhat rocky, sandy, and in a higher altitude, it makes for a natural filtration system for the water, thus the locals are also blessed by having access to these artesian wells. One could bottle and sell the water they drink. We end the conversation by touching on the topic of the context in which the food is eaten. Let’s just say drive throughs are a foreign concept in Tuscany and surrounding areas.
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