I visited market gardener Tony Scarfo of Scarfo Organics in Lobethal, South Australia, last week as part of the research for my upcoming novel (working title: Tomato Dust). In it, my hero will be a market gardener, just like my late grandpa was - and Tony is!
When it comes to my video skills, I don't think Silvia Colloca has anything to worry about, but Tony was pure talent. (He's been on the box for Maggie Beer before!)
Adelaideans, you can find his produce at places like Organically Grown on St Bernards Road, Central Organic in the Central Market, the Organic & Sustainable Market at Bowden, Foodland at Pasadena and Frewville, and Bliss Organic Café. Or check it out on Facebook.
There's a video clip of our interview here. Backyard growers, if you fast-forward to about 5 mins 20 secs in, you can get some expert tips on growing tomatoes at home!
I had a small pizza party with friends to celebrate my birthday on the weekend. Yes, it was all very casual, and yes, I've turned 36 (shhh!) and still can't cook to save myself.
Apparently pizza was first created in Naples, Italy, back in 1889, but we, ahem, just got ours at Hearts Pizzeria down the road.
Yes, too, the party was held in the shed. But as my sis says, Italians don't see just a shed but a possible 100-person reception venue. Yup, we clean our houses like maniacs then make people dine out amid the corrugated iron. Maybe I'm more Italian than I think, after all...
For a while now I've had a novel idea bubbling around in my head. One that involved my Italian ancestry and market gardening heritage. And this is the year I'm actually putting my fingers to the keyboard.
The research will be ongoing while I write the book. Like the heroine, I'm going to learn to cook traditional recipes, so that my specialties extend beyond two-minute noodles (my hubby's the chef in our casa!), and try to work out what my family's connection to the land is all about.
I've been laughed at before in Rome's airport for having such an Italian name and looks and barely speaking a word of the language. So this is my year to live up to my name!
The battered suitcase, above, which sits in our hallway, is meant to look like a trendy décor piece you might find in a home-wares shop, but it also has personal meaning. It's what my nonno brought with him on the boat from Italy when migrating to Australia - effectively changing the course of the generations to follow him. (Check out the snap of my grandparents being wed in war-torn Italy, below.)
My husband, James Elsby, will be taking the photos and videos along my journey. Hope you'll drop in every and now again and see how we're faring! Until next time xx (baci)
Finding my inner peasant...