With the busy summer season at its end, it was nice to stop and take a few moments to look back over the past few months. We really can say that something magical always happens in Piancavallo!
A haven of peace
There is a place, just a few minutes' drive away from our hectic everyday life, where we can escape for a while, where our telephones have little or no reception. We can all find our own secluded corner there, a somewhat haven of tranquillity, where we can free our minds and let our thoughts, ideas and dreams roam freely.
Here, the constant contact with nature is direct, total, relaxing, and at times almost surreal. On a clear day, we can enjoy the view across the plain, observing and identifying our home or town, and a few moments later we come across a wild animal that we usually admire while sitting on our sofa watching a documentary on television. At this point a thought which comes to mind is, “Wow, can I really experience this just a few minutes' drive away from home”?
This place is called Piancavallo.
Considerations of an "ADMIN”
When I was a child, my father used to read me the adventures of Rip Van Winkle, a character born from the pen of the writer Washington Irving, who in autumn, when the air cooled, liked to wander alone in the Catskill mountains, stopping in places where his gaze could wander while sharing a snack with his dog and smoking his pipe.
Inspired by these memories, I also like to wander along the Passeggiata delle Malghe, near our mountain Arnica cultivation from time to time, letting my mind wander and momentarily just forgetting about any daily problem.
A few mornings ago, having to do some maintenance work, I took advantage and set the alarm clock early to get up and set for the high-altitude before daylight. Walking along the paths illuminated only by the light of the moon, listening to the sounds of the animals wandering in the woods and looking out over the plain to contemplate the sunrise over the Venetian-Friulan plain is a unique emotion.
Once I reached a perfect observation point, I spotted a nice stone, sat on it, closed my eyes, and let my thoughts wander through the memories of this year which was coming to an end, until these memoirs stopped on a beautiful night at the end of January.
An entire season in a few moments
It all started from there, during a magnificent moonlit night snowshoe hike along the Passeggiata delle Malghe. I remember passing by our cultivation and thinking: "I wonder if there will still be something left when all this snow melts!" (about 1m and 20cm of snow was covering our Arnica plants).
Flashbacks began to follow one after the other, referring to the tilling of the new land to be cultivated (there is always tension until we find out what is hidden under the grass), the days spent raking, levelling, and removing all the excess clods by hand to prepare the land for the planting process.
Then, the arrival of the new seedlings from the nursery (around 40 000), transplanted by hand one by one, working in the midst of the fog, in the drizzle and walking in the mud feeling our boots slowly sinking. Our packed lunches, the pasta dishes prepared by Belli's food truck (a godsend), the jokes amongst us, workmates, toilers, and buddies. The stories told by Luca the herdsman, and our post-lunch naps taken wherever we could on the plain.
In the meantime, the first flowers were opening, the sun was finally helping them, the preparations for the Harvest Festival, those for the sunset aperitif with our friends from InTheLoop (what a memorable evening!) and then... Boom! The flowering. As unpredictable as ever, never as abundant as this year. The baskets full of flowers, our running back and forth to the dryer to empty them and the faces of those who came to help us.
And finally, the cleaning of the weeds, an unpleasant, long, tiring but essential operation (strictly carried out by hand). The last mowing of the grass, the dismantling of the anti-hail nets, preparing for the winter, the last flowers left behind slowly withering. The awarding ceremony of the Oscar Green FVG
The different seasons
And then... silence. When I open my eyes once again, the sun is rising and warming my face, while a light breeze makes me want to take some deep breaths. I remember why I'm here, I have to fix a signpost and take some measurements. In the distance some deer are bellowing, birds are flying around chasing each other. Who knows, maybe I could even see Rip Van Winkle coming out from behind some trees.
The view is breath-taking, the forest is beginning to wear its autumn themes, the sky is a palette of colours and there is nowhere else I would rather be right now.
This place is called Piancavallo. And here, in every season, something magical always happens! 🍂