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 »

My Father’s Garden – A Memoir

  We are proud to share that our volunteer Mary Ann Pietanza-Cloonan’s memoir of her Italian American father has been published as part of the online archive, Community of Gardens. This digital archive, which is part of the Smithsonian Gardens, aims to preserve American gardening heritage by providing a platform to share the stories of gardens… Read more »

Squash Blossoms Three Ways

  We’re coming to the end of summer, but there is still another week or two to enjoy the last squash blossoms of the season before the cold weather sets in.  Fiori di zucca, as they are known in Italian, can be picked from almost any variety of squash including summer varieties like zucchini and… Read more »

A New York Treat: Pane con Ciccioli

  On her way out of New York, Mary made a stop at Addeo and Sons Bakery in the Bronx where she found a traditional bread she hadn’t seen since her childhood.  Pane con ciccioli is bread baked with the crispy bits of pork meat that are the by-product of rendering pork fat into lard…. Read more »

All About Cicoria

We love when Italian Garden Project followers send us articles, pictures, and videos, so we were especially happy to hear from Greg Caicco, of Ontario, Canada.  Greg made this very informative video on growing and preparing cicoria.  Though many Italian Americans reserves the term cicoria for serrated leaf dandelion greens, the genus actually comprises many… Read more »

Bruno Garofalo

A Garden Worth Preserving

The Italian Garden Project is thrilled to be documenting the amazing garden of Bruno Garofalo of Pittsburgh Pa. Bruno’s garden will be archived in the Smithsonian’s Archives of American Gardens. We will visit the garden monthly for up to a year, photographing, videotaping, sketching the layout and plantings, and learning as much as we can… Read more »

Sausage Making with Mr. Ciccone

If there’s anything that makes Mr. Ciccone happy, it’s making sausage. He enjoys working with meat of any kind because it reminds him of growing up in his native Italy where his father was a butcher. Although in his primary career Mr. Ciccone was a maintenance supervisor for his local municipality his true calling was serving the local… Read more »

Wrapping a Fig Tree for Winter

There’s not one right way to protect a fig tree for the winter. Seems everyone has a method that works for them. Michele (pronounced Mee-KEL-lay) has devised an ingenious method to wrap one of his very large trees. In the video below, he and his helpers partially uproot it, lowering it to the ground in… Read more »

Fig Trees Are For Sharing

This year proved that fig trees are as resilient as the immigrants who planted many of them. If your fig tree sustained damage last winter and all or part of the above ground growth died, chances are that over the summer new shoots have grown from the ground and you didn’t lose your tree after all. You… Read more »