Posts from the ‘agriculture’ category

Three years ago, if you told me that I would be an animal and environmental rights activist because of what I was eating, I probably wouldn’t have believed you. My food writing journey has been an amazing one – sampling, sipping, and telling stories about the best food and drink you could imagine. But along the way, I began to listen to other stories – ones that affect you and me. The “local” eating movement goes beyond supporting local businesses. It’s about supporting practices that are 1. humane and 2. sustainable. And while the concept seems pretty simple, finding restaurants that follow those same ethics are not.

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Plated

By Claire Lardizabal
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CHIUSDINO, Italy – Mint perfumes the air as you walk through one of Tenuta di Spannocchia’s three gardens. The hard-boiled eggs at breakfast came from the hens, the salad lettuce for lunch was just picked this morning and the rosé wine served at dinner was vinted and bottled here just last year.

As you pass the four lemon trees and step into the garden below, the endless slope of vegetables and herbs can become overwhelming. What don’t they have? I thought to myself as we gingerly tried not to crush rows of potatoes, carrots and basil.

Carmen Zandarin is the mastermind behind all this and has been for the past 12 years. She runs and maintains the gardens with the help of eight farm interns a year. On Mondays, she walks through the gardens then discusses the following week’s meals with the kitchen staff, depending on what’s…

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Plated

By Claire Lardizabal

SAN POLO in CHIANTI, Italy—The olive fruit fly, Mosca Olearia, devastated half of the Pruneti’s olive grove and led a decrease in overall olive oil production due to unfavorable weather in 2014.

The Azienda Agricola Pruneti is located in the rolling hills of Chianti outside of Florence. The Pruneti family has been producing olive oil since the 19th century, and currently maintains 28,000 olive trees on 150 acres of land.

The grandfathers of the clan used a hot-press method that was easier but quality had to be sacrificed for quantity. Now, it is the other way around. Olive oil is cold-pressed at 27°C through stainless steel machinery. The cold temperature yields better quality because it will preserve the olive’s vitamins.

Last year’s heavy rains and humidity created a breeding ground for the fruit fly that then ate olive crops and contaminated olive crates, cutting the estimated…

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