Here I am in the middle of Umbrian farmland for more than a week, and I haven”t found basil that smells like basil.
On hearing this, Stefano, the obliging interpreter for the owners of the villa, packs me into his car and drives me home to meet Mama Rita and Papa Mario. And then straight into the vege garden. The smell of broken basil would knock you out! And why not take some celery too?
Stefano tells me when papa goes missing at night, he can be found under the fig tree tasting of the fruit. The glistening “drop” of sweet juice at the base of the fig is an indication of its ripeness. And, I can now vouch for it.
|The “drop” as sweet as honey
|I”d get lost under the fig tree in the evenings too with this delicious fruit
Mama Rita disappears into the hen house and comes out with freshly laid eggs for me. Stefano walks me to show me the maize that”s grown for the hens.
|The obliging Stefano
|I”m waiting for breakfast to see if the yolks are this golden colour
We don”t stop there – we pull up carrots and lettuce and pick the tomatoes.
|I think these baby carrots will be best eaten raw.
|Tomatoes for salad and tomatoes for sauce
And why not takes some grapes off the vine too? Such is life in the countryside.