Organic Farming Sicilian Style…

When we first moved to America, 16 years ago, the adjective “organic” was just starting to appear in people’s conversations and consciousness.  “Is this organic? Do you buy organic? Do you sell or produce organic?”

Papa’ {the greenest thumb I know} and I were trying to translate that into Italian = “organico” ? {impossible, we thought, that is a chemical compound in the Italian language and culture ;} The proper and correct form to say “organic” in Italian is “biologico” {made as biology/nature/earth would create = natural}.  Then I joked with him and said “Papa, ma allora tu sei /siamo organico/i?” :) {Papa’, are you/we organic or biological then ? :) }

My father was born and raised in an incredible Sicilian farm {La Peppa, yes it had a name and it denoted not only a particular geographical location but especially a place of belonging, a sense of community and attachment to the earth, to Mother Nature, to genuine lifestyle}.  My grandfather was un agricoltore, a farmer.  He knew every inch of his land as if it were his most precious belonging, “la proprieta‘”.  Because of the size of the land, he had an entire team of workers helping him do the daily and seasonal work, routines.

On the same exact piece of land, my sister and I and all four of my cousins {six girls} were raised running through 150 olive trees, and an orange and lemon grove of about 300 trees.  There was also an extensive vegetable garden.  We never bought olive oil, never bought oranges or lemons, always had our vegetables fresh and picked daily as needed for our cooking. The inebriating scent of my childhood permeates my memory and imagination as if it was yesterday.   To me “organic” equates “normal”, the way it should be.  Italian mercati found daily at many corners of towns offer incredible varieties of vegetables and fruits of the season – Sicilian mercati are even more powerful with scents and gusto.

The earth teaches us to be gentle and kind, to be slow and patient, what is true, essential and genuine and what is not.  To me it’s so relaxing, so nurturing, real therapy…. so much so that I believe many our bigger problems could be solved in a garden, in a kitchen and/or with books (Nutrition = Wellness = Education)! The most elemental and basic.  I leave you here with a few snapshots of our “organic farm in pure Sicilian style”.

Happy Farming, everyone!

Our Organic Garden Sicilian Style
Our Organic Garden Sicilian Style
Taddi Siciliani/Sicilian Zucchini
Taddi Siciliani/Sicilian Zucchini



Our mini fig trees from Sicily....
Our mini fig trees from Sicily….
Sicilian basil....Basilico siciliano
Sicilian basil….Basilico siciliano
San Marzano Tomatoes...
San Marzano Tomatoes…
Peperoni Siciliani......Sicilian Peppers.....
Peperoni Siciliani……Sicilian Peppers…..







4 thoughts on “Organic Farming Sicilian Style…

  1. very nice–Sicilian Organic garden, the best in the world, beautiful shots of the Mignosa back yard–why don t you take a video of this garden– it would ba an enjoyable show to watch for good memories


  2. This post makes me happy and sad at the same time because it reminds me of my late grandpa’s garden and how my brother and I would eat from his fig tree until…well, you know what happens when you eat too many figs ;) Your garden is beautiful!

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