the Lavender project has started in spring 2018, when we asked ourselves before a good bottle of wine if we really wanted to forget that we were not only this strange blend of farmers, hosts and cooks, but architects as well!
The patch of land in front of Casafredda had serious problems of hydro-geological origins and so, taking advantage of the good season, we initially dealt with the arrangement of the ditches. Since we have long been oriented towards the principles of organic and biodynamic agriculture, we then decompacted the soil with the use of a ripper, thus allowing the natural elements to penetrate deeply into the ground.
After letting the soil rest for the whole summer we sowed it at the beginning of autumn with fava beans. In early spring of 2019, whit the fava beens starting picking up after winter, we planted 11 linden trees along the adjoining road: they are fast growers, provide food to the bees, and good leaves for our herbal teas; a few weeks later, when the fava plants were in full bloom, we mulched them and integrated their green manure into the soil.
Again we let the ground rest until autumn, when the 2500 cuttings prepared by Silphionker, the biological nursery of our friend Marta, were ready to take place in rows on the field.
After squaring the plot of land, we traced the 40 rows that received the 4 selected lavender varieties: Abrialis, Grosso, Rinaldo Ceroni, and Sumiens. Now we know that we will have to fight a battle of at least two years with weeds, leaving the time and space needed for our little girls to grow strong and lush.
From summer 2021 onward we should begin to enjoy our efforts and who knows, maybe one day in the middle of that flowering field many small and happy bees will also find their new, sweet and safe home.
After all, Rome wasn't build in a day :)
As expected spring 2020 was characterized by an explosion of...well, we really do not feel calling here poppies and wild flowers weeds! So, lets say that we had at least a first impression of what a colorful field of flowers looks like! Incredibly, red poppies came up following the lines where the lavenders were planted, so we also had an impression of our design in while yellow rapacciole were covering the space in between the lines.
Then, after days spent on our knees weeding the tiny plants, and making them space to enjoy the sunshine, Italian summer came and fitted hard, and we had to run with the tractor, tank, and hose to water the thirsty little girls, who bravely gifted us with a little bunch of flowers by the end of June.
By the beginning of winter 2020, the Abrialis variety was the one better showing to have appreciated our efforts, and we are confident that season 2021 will start characterizing this patch of Tuscany with a beautiful purple bloom.
Stay tuned :)