Archive for September 25th, 2009

quail spigot

So, yes, there are bananas from Ecuador at all of the markets here, and much of the beef comes from Brazil.  But this is also the land of plenty when it comes to local foods.  When my new friend Anna and I were walking with our little ones around the Bass Garden here at the American Academy the other day, we just kept saying, “wow, isn’t this paradise?”  Here’s a sampling of what we saw—in this over-the-top edible yard (and this is after much of the summer vegetable garden has been tilled under).

One last lonely cherry tomato:

a little tomato

Plum trees so heavy with clusters, the fruit is dropping to the ground:

plum cluster

Olive trees dripping with thousands of olives:


Fig trees, not with fruit this late, but still with a beautiful canopy:

fig canopy



Also growing in plentiful patches here are hot peppers, sage, and persimmons.

Anna and I, along with Lulu and Jack (4) and Jesse (2), took a leisurely tour of the garden, stopping to admire and sample all of the fruit, and to take a drink from the gurgling fountain:

water fountain

Jack and Lulu also floated things down the irrigation canal—something of a mini Roman aqueduct for their world of miniature boats and barges:

waiting for boats

The water flows into a basin with a drain and a spigot.  To turn on the water at this end, you twist the little quail pictured above.

Our tour concluded when we saw a thunderhead approaching, above the umbrella pines:


This post is just an appreciation of beauty….   Soon, though, I’d like to address some questions—hinted at above—that I’ve been looking into about what local eating means in Rome, about pesticides and organics in Italy, and about farm sizes and types.  Stay tuned.


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