This morning I awoke to the sound of a rooster crowing. Actually, every morning this month, that rooster has been my wake up call. I do believe he gets up earlier every day, and usually before the first hint of daylight.
We live in a rural area of Italy. Growing up on a farm, as I did, and spending most of my career working on behalf of agribusiness organizations, as I have, seeing how another area farms is always interesting to me. Italy has given me no end of farming practices to observe and wonder about.
Vineyards are everywhere. Grapevines run along property lines, they border gardens, They cover patios. We have a grapevine in Iowa. I know how many grapes our one vine produces. It makes me wonder what everyone does with all the grapes. Do they all make wine or juice? Do they contract their vines to someone else who picks and processes? Are what appear to be ‘garden’ grapes really small farms?
Olive trees are also everywhere, in the valleys and climbing terraces to the top of the surrounding hills, interspersed with gardens. We’ve seen large bundles of netting and expect they must cover the trees to ward off birds. But what are the plastic bottles that hang from some trees for?
Four-foot by four-foot plastic cubes store irrigation water for gardens, but how do they irrigate farm fields? And are the fields of sunflowers grown for flowers or seeds or oil?
As a farm girl, I could spend another month here finding answers to all my questions.
One answer I already know is how to stop that rooster from crowing so early in the morning. But my neighbors may not agree.