La Contadina


Last Sunday I showed up again at Michelines, this time to help with yard/land cleanup after the olive harvest.  I found her clearing some bushes with her clippers. She promptly got me a pair, and here was my project for the first hour.




I haven’t done much yard work since the selling of Thurman Street 6 + years ago, and I forgot how addictive clippers can be. I was very happy on my hillside overlooking the Val di Chiana, butchering this tree.  We then starting hauling the brush over to the fire.


Silla- with his radiant smile always.


Pranzo break.




IMG_0113Marco, Micheline’s giardiniere, (gardener) joins us, adding pancetta crudo, or raw pancetta to the mix.



After pranzo, we are back to work, Marco is cutting down dead trees and starting another fire, I appoint myself guardian of this fire for the afternoon, which took quite a bit of tending, to keep it going.

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This was what I got to look at all afternoon as I kept adding brush and olive branches to the fire to keep it going.


My fire at the end of the day. It was quite addictive also, burning wood all afternoon, my sole purpose, zen and meditative.

Micheline said the fire was still going the next day.

So for someone that keeps claiming not to like hanging out in the country much, I have found that I actually do like the serenity of being a Contadina (farmer) on occasion. It is growing on me.



When the sun finally went down , we headed inside for a drink and I got to show Micheline and Silla the two previous blog posts I did on them. They were over the moon excited and loved looking at the posts.

Silla gave me this painting he made below, he is a very talented artist and I was very touched.

I promptly went home, found the perfect vintage frame to put it in, made a vignette , it looks like it was painted especially for this spot, doesn’t it?



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5 Responses to La Contadina

  1. frankiebouv says:

    i want the cat! xxoxo

  2. Nancy Perata says:

    Hi Stacey,

    It was so nice to meet you in Cortona and your blog is fantastic!

  3. Pagliaccio says:

    Ho my God, how wonderful this is Stacey; it reminds me of the many times I had to help my parents clean their terreni in Italy, and here in NY. I miss doing that. This summer I’d like to come and help you and Micheline fix her garden as well. 🙂

  4. Pagliaccio says:

    How wonderful to work with nature and to help a friend; it reminds me of the many times I helped my parents clean-up their terreni in Puglia and their farm here in NY. Wonderful feeling working with nature. I miss it. I hope there will need for more help at Micheline’s this summer, because I want to help to. Un abbraccio a due donne meravigliose. Baci. Rosa.

  5. Polly Barnes says:

    I will help next time! I too have found that I like gardening more and more these days. A good pair of clippers can work miracles! I like the kitty too!

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