Yesterday was a fantastic day. And because of that, we are lounging around doing absolutely nothing today, except for listening to Paolo flattening the piece of garden with the best view of the sunset, in order that we can erect an over ground pool in the next couple of weeks.
Since buying our little slice of paradise in May, we have worked our jobs in Rome from Monday to Friday, and then worked our land here Saturday and Sunday, and we are absolutely shattered. But the land, that started off looking like this:
Now looks like this:
So it’s no wonder we’re tired!
All of this effort was rewarded yesterday at our first Open House, when we showed our little farm to friends and colleagues from a total of eight nations: an event that began at midday, and ended twelve and a half hours, and many, many bottles of wine and beer later. In fact, the last guests actually left us twenty four hours after the event began, so we feel that we deserve our afternoon off!
And much as the transformation you can see above makes us feel proud and accomplished, the truth is, that we have tamed approximately 10% of our olive trees, zero per cent of our grape vines, and zero per cent of our walnut trees. In fact, truth be told, I haven’t actually seen the walnut trees since early March. Inside the house is also largely untouched. We have repaired most things that have broken since we arrived, and Scott’s mum has cleaned it to within an inch of its life (and treated the gorgeous, but woodworm ridden furniture), but that’s about it. We have met one geometra to discuss our plans for the renovation, and creation of the rental unit, but that is as far as we have got.
So today, we are resting. But tomorrow, we will be back at it, reclaiming our olive grove, one tree at a time. Following the years of abandonment, and then the hardest winter in recent memory, no matter how hard we work this year, we will have a very small harvest this autumn, but we are in good company, as none of our neighbours are seeing many olives on their trees either. We, however, first have to find our trees, as most of them look like this:
After a couple of hours removing bind weed, sticky willow, ivy and brambles, we are able to prune out the dead wood, and then, if the tree has any olives on it, we remove the “chimneys” (vertical growth that steals all of the nutrients from the rest of the tree), and also any branches that are shading our precious fruits. And then, we can gaze up at the sky through the tree, which will look more like this, and we will feel proud and accomplished:
But today, only Paolo is working, because what we really need after a day of weeding and pruning, is a swimming pool. So thank G for Paolo!