In Italy I visited two of the school gardens of Slow Food Feltrino e Primiero with the Convivium coordinator Ornella Fadda. Five school garden have been created in the area, thanks to volunteers and to the local dairy, Latte Busche, who is sponsoring the project. Latte Busche is donating 2,500 Euros for three years (about NZ$5,000 per year).
The dairy distributes local milk and makes a varieties and cheeses, dairy products and ice creams.
Latte Busche most famous cheese is Formaggio Piave, made exclusively with milk from the Belluno area. This is one of my favourite cheeses!
And now to the Gardens:
I visited the gardens during the summer holidays, so I couldn't see the children and parents at work, but here, in the garden of the Vittorino da Feltre elementary school, in Feltre, I met with the school caretaker Gisella (in the photo), a keen gardener and the school staff members who teaches the children about gardening, and maintain the gardens throughout the year.
In the same school SF also planted an orchard, and I loved the palisades made with poles cut and painted like gigantic coloured pencils.
Then I visited the SF garden of the kindegarden of Anzù (the village where there is the famous Basilica Santuario dei Santi Vittore e Corona). The kindegarden didn't have enough land for a garden so a plot was offered by a neighbour, Bruna, and the children can walk from the kindy to the gardens with their teachers.
The children called their scarecrow Fortunato (Lucky) because they say that he is lucky to spend all his time among nature.
The principle of the SF gardens of this Convivium is that lessons are done by the nonni ortolani (gardening grandparents) and here is the Garden's nonno, Mario.
Extra produce from the gardens is sold in the local Farmers' Market,
In this photo from left: gardening grandpa Mario, Ornella of SF Feltrino e Primiero, Kindy teacher Roberta, and Bruna, who offered the land for the garden.
School has now started again in Italy, and the local Convivium is working with the school teachers. Three events are planned and November 11 will be the National Day of the School Gardens, celebrated with a tasting session of home made jams.
And in the future they plan a dinner based on pumpkin, with gnocchi, cakes made by the mums, and traditional songs from the children's various villages.