When I purchased some land a house in Southern Italy I satisfied a desire that I had always had. Born in London I was tired of the hustle and bustle of the big city where one became anymous in the mass of humanity.
I wanted to get back in touch with Nature and the Earth. I was determined not to use any chemicals or artificicial fertilisers and I discovered that it was difficult to grow crops although the weeds and grass sprang up in profusion. Seeds sown in the fields were eaten by insects and after the infrequent rain the hot sun baked the red earth into a hard brick like consistency which no root could ever penetrate.
I also made 200 litres of organic wine and 100 litres of extra virgin organic olive oil.
What did grow on its own were the olives and fruit of the trees, lemons, oranges, grapefruits, apples, pears, cotton apples, pomegranates, red and yellow plums, hazel nuts, walnuts and almonds. My family and I soon had all the fruit that we could eat and what was over I learned how to dry and preserve for the winter but the vegetables were still a bit of a failure.
Finally I started to grow the seedlings in pots and when they were quite big I planted them in the ground but a lot of them still died until I started to bank up the earth in pyramid like rows so that it was loose and kept it watered regularly.
I made a compost heap and any organic matter was rotted down. Compost heaps are simple to keep and one has to water them and tun them over somtime. I dig the compost back into the earth around the growing vegetables and now I think that this "townie" can call himself an organic farmer.
Above are pictures that I took today of things that are growing in the Spring.
In London I used to hate the rain but now I love it and rainwater makes everything grow and replenishes the huge reservoirs I have beneath my house. ...