Archive for February, 2009


February 28, 2009

irene e amalia

Originally uploaded by nonsonoitaliana

a long walk in the sun for the moms, both babies sleeping.

back at home the babies came out of their respective carriers and sat (or lay!) on the floor while we moms had a cup of tea.

amalia was obviously enchanted by this new baby, just enough older to be doing more and different things. i could see the fascination on her face as she eyed how irene masterfully grasped a toy in each hand, sitting up straight in the curve of her mother’s legs. . . it’s good to have goals, isn’t it?

you can see my two trays of seeds out on the balcony. the brassicas and lettuce are sprouted, the leeks are thinking about it and the onions are still asleep. the flowers are starting, too!



February 27, 2009


Originally uploaded by nonsonoitaliana

while i waiting for a friend to come over with her baby, i wanted to just quickly write that my milk dilemna has been solved.

perhaps you know that for almost three years i have been seriously stressed by the fact that milk is only available in plastic containers here in terno- one type is theoretically recyclable, but i don’t believe any plastic is really recycled. call me paranoid if you will.

last week the city installed a raw milk dispenser down the street from me. i now buy milk that comes from a dairy less than five kilometers away, using my cute glass bottle over and over again. For 30 cents cheaper than that in the store.

how cool is that?


February 25, 2009

2009 February 041

Originally uploaded by nonsonoitaliana

100 paper pots made yesterday using these directions, sort of. I tried wetting the paper first, but it fell apart when I handled it afterwards, so I dunked the dry pot in the sink instead. Worked pretty well.

54 pots seeded today with marigolds and dwarf zinnias, three seeds per pot.

Seeded broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, head lettuce, chicory, onions and leeks in flat trays. Maybe jumping the gun with the cauliflower but I just don’t know. . . the seasons are so different.

Green manure seeds ordered and arrived- got to go pick them up Saturday. All my seeds are coming from a Bergamo-based company, Franchi, and all my purchasing done via a small agricultural consortium in nearby Madone. Nothing organic or exotic- I’m going the local route.

So busy I hardly have time to think.

BIG project

February 16, 2009

working. . .

Originally uploaded by nonsonoitaliana

Amalia has started sleeping on her own, well, more like staying asleep on her own.

After I began to recover from the crisis this threw me into (with lots of love and affection from my husband to fill the void), I could appreciate the positive change this is, for both Amalia and me. We are both growing.

So I’m working on something BIG for a friend in the evenings.

A secret.


February 11, 2009

"my" dirt

Originally uploaded by nonsonoitaliana

This is a little ball of the soil I will be working with. . . what do you think? It looks a lot like clay, doesn’t it? its very wet here still, and I need to take a real sample, but it looks like there isn’t much organic matter at all.

I went back to my farmer (I don’t even know his name!) to ask him if I could use the small hilltop field he had offered me instead of the garden plot and he said yes.

We arranged for him to till (but not plow), just enough to shred the corn stalks that are there and bury them. He will also bring me manure and straw. The straw really confounded him but he said he will do it.

Tried to explain that I would use “green manures” but that was a linguistic nightmare on top of the cultural divide (gaping chasm) separating our different ways of operating.

I walked up the hill with sleeping Amalia and walked around, looking, feeling, absorbing, picking up this little bit of soil to bring home with me.

I’m thinking seed balls to sow the unused parts of the field with green manures, and I’m rounding up folks to help me and locate sources of seeds and clay.

I can hardly sleep at night.


February 7, 2009

amalia’s hands

Originally uploaded by nonsonoitaliana

amalia has been so into her hands the last two weeks, and i find myself wondering what she will do with these hands of hers as she grows, when she is grown. . . which is like another way of wondering who she will be, because who we are is in our hands, in the work we do with our hands.

my own hands can do so many things, but often, especially since i moved my life here, i have felt they were not busy enough, not doing the work they were capable of.

in the last two weeks, so many things have been happening, coming together in really beautiful ways. this morning, early, we got a response to my garden flier.


a BIG garden, very near, part of a farm. the man was quite surprised when we showed up to meet him and see the space. he was expecting “an old, retired man” (his exact words, translated), and instead got a young american woman with a three-month-old baby strapped to her chest. after his initial shock, he became quite enthusiastic.

will i ever stop being the opposite of what people expect?

i am so happy. . .


February 4, 2009

hoping for a garden…

Originally uploaded by nonsonoitaliana

hope has been in the news a lot.
it’s in my life, too, with the pregnancy,birth and baby.
and it’s spilled out into a few initiatives.

i posted these fliers (flyers?) around town last friday. the idea is someone who has space will trade it for some of the harvest.
if no one responds, i’m going to take my hope and plant it in the private and un-used lot behind our building. i’ll have a garden one way or another this year.

two saturdays ago i organized for some ladies to come over to my house to knit and patchwork. we are expanding and this month will meet at the library (which involved some minor bureaucratic hurdles).

i cleaned up the front of our apartment building, filling a large garbage bag to exploding and one box of recycling. so far it’s stayed clean. relatively.