Tuesday, May 25, 2010

So You Want To Be a Contadino, eh?

When I first heard the term contadino applied to me by a smiling local, I took it as a compliment of my willingness to work. Lately I've understood it can be a bit of a class slur.

Never mind I am trying to finish building a house in a foreign land, trying to learn a foreign language and trying to figure out how to make a living during the worst economic crisis in a century.

There are not enough hours in a day for me to be me! And now the garden needs planting before the dry season.

I have 6 months to go. Six months to nurture the grapes on the vines and turn them into wine.Six months to cultivate the olives and turn them into oil. Six months to manage the grain fields in one way or another. Six months to turn the fertile bottom by the spring into a real vegetable garden. And six months to learn all I can from real deal contadino Giovanni Mangiavacchi (even though all he’s doing these days is cutting and stacking next winter's income-producing firewood).