Nicola and Fenice Mercurio, Bethel Park, PA
Born in Falerna, Province of Catanzaro, Calabria, Italy
Nicola and Fenice care for their large garden together, enjoying the fruits of their labor as well as facing the ongoing challenges of gardening in suburban America. The two are determined not to let anything deter them from harvesting the baskets of produce they cook, can and freeze each season. This sometimes means capturing and relocating up to thirty small animal invaders a year from their garden.
Nicola’s many fig trees produce figs so large they look as though they were grown in Italy instead of Western Pennsylvania.
Fenice is eager to share the fond memories of her childhood on the family farm, caring for the animals, making cheese, cooking over a fire, and collecting wood to bring to the charcoal maker. Her light-hearted personality, vivid memory and expressive body language make her stories not only educational, but captivating.