“The garden suggests there might be a place where we can meet nature halfway.” – Michael Pollan
An organic vegetable garden was created behind the swimming pool of the farmhouse and all types of vegetables are planted every spring & summer such as: beans, chick peas, fava beans, garlic, onions, lettuce, radishes, Swiss chard, spinach, beets, squash and carrots.
Next to them the bigger plants have been placed in traditional rows: tomatoes (5 different varieties: San Marzano, pachino, cuore di bue, terraioli & costuluto fiorentino), zucchini, pumpkins, watermelons, peppers, eggplants, & hot chili peppers. Various types of flowers and aromatic herbs such as rosemary, sage, oregano, marjoram, basil and thyme along with marigolds, nasturtiums and lavender have been planted in order to encourage pollination.
And then there is the estate’s 300 tree olive grove going down the road from the farmhouse that produces some of the finest extra virgin olive oil in the area. No chemical fertilizers or pesticides are utilized – just plain old manure. The olives used to produce Antica Olivaia’s fine olive oil come from only one estate – Antica Olivaia’s!
All the organic fruit trees on and around the farm – apricot, plum, pomegranate, wild apple, blackberry and fig – produce Antica Olivaia’s wonderful breakfast jams, in which no artificial substances or gelatins are used but only the natural pectin of the fruit itself and sugar.
All around the county inn you will see wild fennel growing which is used to make liqueurs and the flowers are also dried out and used as a wonderfully fragrant seasoning on roasts and baked potatoes. Wild mint grows spontaneously everywhere and is used for seasoning esp. on artichokes and zucchini. Tomatoes are used to make tomato sauce for use during the cold winter months and the garden’s onions, chili peppers and green tomatoes are utilized for jams to accompany pecorino cheese. Lemons, wild fennel and walnuts are used to make limoncello, finocchiella and nocino respectively which are served at the end of dinner to all the guests.