Alessandro says: Time to Uncover that FigTree

We just received this email (April 10) from Alessandro Ferzoco of Boston: I uncovered my trees yesterday here in Boston. When the crocuses come up, the forsythia buds turn yellow, and you see robins, it’s time to uncover the trees here. I noticed some mold starting to grow, due to the higher temperatures and the rain we’ve… Read more »

Italian Gardeners: The Next Generation

  We at The Italian Garden Project™ are always pleased when we find that the Italian gardening traditions are being carried on by a new generation of gardeners. Several years ago when 18 year old Alessandro Ferzoco emailed to tell us about his passion for gardening, and offered to introduce us to some of his… Read more »

Preserving our Italian Heirlooms

  In an Italian American garden nothing is more precious than fruits and vegetables from the Old Country with a taste of home.  Seeds and cuttings from these prized plants were brought from Italy, carefully propagated in backyard gardens, and traded as valuable commodities among Italian immigrant communities.  Years of cultivating these Mediterranean varieties here… Read more »

An Afternoon in Italy in California

Sometimes when we spend time with gardeners, we feel transported across the world to Italy.  Such was the case when we spent the afternoon with Domenico and Rosa Bellocci and their family in Orangevale, California, just outside of Sacramento.  From the moment Rosa opened the front door of her house, we were greeted not only… Read more »

The Garden of Domenico and Rosa Bellocci

Orangevale, California Born in Mola di Bari, Province of Bari, Puglia, Italy. Domenico immigrated to the United States in 1969, and Rosa immigrated in 1985. Click on the photo to enlarge and read the caption.   Prickly Pear Picker The Bellocci’s teach us how to use the prickly pear picker that they got in Italy…. Read more »

Italian Gardeners Bloom Wherever They are Planted

  Italian gardeners never shy away from hard work, add to that their keen knowledge of growing and you’ve got a powerful combination. Their wisdom and tireless spirit were the keys to success in their adopted country, and nowhere is that more evident than in the case of Cesare Restani, one of the most successful nurserymen… Read more »

On the Road: New York

Each summer The Italian Garden Project™ heads to New York City and the surrounding area to seek out and document Italian American vegetable gardens.  We have had the opportunity to meet many wonderful New York gardeners who welcome us into their homes and gardens, generously sharing their knowledge and love of growing and preparing food. … Read more »

Tomatoes at the Diamond

The final game of the 112th World Series is tonight, so we thought we’d take a moment to reflect on how Italian gardeners have left their mark on baseball. Italian gardeners don’t let a good patch of dirt go to waste, so it’s no surprise they have a history of growing even at the diamond…… Read more »

Wrapping a Fig Tree – Savinell Style

  Alan Savinell of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania is a master at wrapping his fig trees. The two 20 foot, highly productive trees he cares for in his back yard were passed down to him from his grandfather an immigrant from Santa Maria a Vico near Naples, Italy. Alan credits all his gardening knowledge to his grandfather,… Read more »

Are You Stuck with a Tree Full of Green Figs?

A fig lover’s nightmare is to have a tree full of small, hard figs sitting stubbornly unripe on the tree at the end of the season.  It is often tempting to pick this end of season fruit before it’s fully mature, but will these figs ripen off the tree, or will you be stuck with… Read more »