Caring for Fig Shoots, Part I

During our fig tree growing classes in Pittsburgh, we visit Rodolfo Ranallo who has grown fig trees since his arrival in the US in 1970. Rodolfo is from Ateleta, Italy in the province of L’Aquila in the region of Abruzzo. This was the first winter that he didn’t bury his fig tree. He had seen other trees… Read more »

New shoots coming up from the base of the fig tree

The Resilient Fig

The springtime ritual of unwrapping the fig tree usually brings a sense of anticipation and excitement for Bruno Garofalo of Pittsburgh. He is especially eager to unwrap his two prize fig trees that he brought with him as small shoots from Italy in the lining of his coat in 1961. He buried them each fall until… Read more »

Did Your Fig Tree Survive the Winter?

Now that Spring has finally decided to arrive, it’s time to uncover, unearth or remove your fig tree from its winter confinement.   During a visit to Michele’s earlier today, we inspected his trees for signs that they had successfully made it through this particularly long and severe winter.   We first took a look… Read more »

Curing Pork Loins with Mariano Floro

In the video below, Mariano Floro describes his process for making cured pork loins which he refers to as capicolla. He starts with a whole pork loin that he cuts into three pieces. He pokes a hole through one end of each piece and threads a cotton string through to later hang the loins to cure. He rubs each piece with about 2 TBLS…. Read more »

Mariano Makes Sausage and Cured Pork Loin

We visited Mariano Floro this week to learn how he makes his wonderful fresh and dried sausages and cured pork loin. He graciously shared his vast knowledge and lots of amazing food and wine.

Old School Winemaking

In the video below, brothers-in-law Francesco and Vincenzo talk about winemaking in Italy when they were young. Like most families at that time, theirs had small vineyards. They describe the process of crushing the grapes, which was done by stomping with their feet because they didn’t have mechanical crushers, not even hand-cranked ones. The grapes… Read more »

Time to Tuck in Your Fig Tree

If you live in the northeast where we’ve had several very cold days and nights, don’t panic if you haven’t yet buried or covered your fig tree. It generally takes sustained freezing temperatures and icy winds to do permanent damage. You may want to do it soon though, before the next bout of cold weather. It’s always a much more… Read more »

Awesome Eataly!

In October, The Italian Garden Project was invited to La Scuola di Eataly to celebrate the beauty and bounty of the Italian American vegetable garden during a Meatless Monday cooking demonstration and dinner. Using garden-fresh produce provided by our Italian American gardening friends, Chef Alicia Walter delighted the dinner guests with an amazing array of vegetable-based dishes, two of which are shared… Read more »

The Generous Gardeners

I had a great week visiting my gardening friends and gathering vegetables to bring to Eataly in Manhattan where The Italian Garden Project and Chef Alicia Walter have teamed up to celebrate the Italian American vegetable garden. Chef Alicia has created an interesting and exciting menu incorporating the vegetables that the gardeners so eagerly and generously shared. Michele had just… Read more »

An Apple a Day…

I shot some video over the weekend that I can’t stop thinking about. It was something that on the surface seems pretty mundane, but as I was filming I was overwhelmed with the feeling that I was capturing a whole lifestyle in a single moment. I had spent Saturday morning at Mr. Ciccone’s. He had promised… Read more »