Articolo disponibile anche in: Italian

In the midst of our green countryside, along the Volterrana road in Chiesanuova, sits a magical place with inebriating aromas. It is here, at ”Il Pintello”, where Marco and Silvia are gathering olives from their 1.300 trees.

In the dew bathed fields there are nets positioned under the olive trees to assist Marco and his three helpers. Work starts at 7:30 AM for circa 15 days. It is hard work.

They must hurry to respect the appointment they have with the oil press in Cerbaia, but also have to finish before the cold arrives. We cannot disturb them, but it is nice to watch them work in harmony with nature.

“Our company”, Sylvia, Marco’s wife, tells us “is a small family run organic farm which my husband Marco inherited from his grandfather in the 1980s. Marco and I work here together with our oldest daughter who runs the farm stay”.

“We make wine from organic grapes – says Silvia – which are then vinified by the Cantine del Grevepesa. Our organic olive oil is made from the many trees that were replanted by Marco”.

She continues: “Marco was one of the first young people to return to the land, re-giving life to this place against his parents will. They wanted him to study. It was a wonderful choice; our three children grew up near Florence but in contact with nature, believing in the value of the land and in the project to cultivate our products and be auto sufficient”.

img_20161108_134406What does the period of olive collection represent for you? “It is a party, the results of a year of hard work. This year was difficult because of the parasite which affected even the pits of the olives. Many olives fell off the trees. For this reason we choose only the fullest olive trees and leave the others alone for economic reasons. We use a small rake for the lower and more delicate olives and an electric tool for all of the others. We then gather them in boxes and bring them to the oil mill for pressing”.

We accompanied Silvia to the kitchen. It is almost time for lunch. We would’ve liked to see them eat outside with bread and pecorino under the olive trees, but unfortunately it is raining. What have you prepared for lunch today? “Polenta and a spicy stew made with sausages and mushrooms. We eat in front of the stove and then return to work”.

It is time to say goodbye. We thank the lady of the house for letting us participate in such a unique moment, helping us forget the frenetic rhythms of our life. The colors of the countryside remain in our eyes. We are full of emotion and thank people like Marco and Sylvia who work every day to maintain our beautiful territory.

Silvia Luis