Happy Solstice!

St. Francis of Assisi statue in the town of Assisi

Italian Adventure 2018

This October I travelled to Tuscany and was able to stay on an olive farm near Survereto, a town near the sea below Pisa. The family farm is called Le Germandine, and the owners welcomed me spending the day with them harvesting olives for olive oil. Their land had an ancient grove of trees with some of the trees close to 350 years old. They harvested about 500 kilos of olives a day and then drove the olives to an organic press, picking up the freshly pressed olive oil the next day. At first the new olive oil has a bitter taste; as it ages the taste gets mellower and sweeter.

I enjoyed getting to know the family, who also had an herb farm and herb lab on their land. In between the olive trees they had planted Helychrisum, an herb I use as an essential oil for pain in my practice. One evening they invited us to their herb lab and gave us a tour. They are very dedicated to producing organic products and sold herbal teas, rose syrups, digestive bitters, and tinctures. It was a pleasure to meet Italian herbalists.