San Giovan Giuseppe in St. Alessandro Estate

Tenuta-San-Giovan-Giuseppe-Ischia-topThis weekend let a drink wait for, at sunset pull out wicker baskets (maybe the ones that are intertwined in Ischia ed), wear comfortable shoes and hat and get Tenuta San Giovan Giuseppe at St. Alessandro to collect vegetables at 0 km.
Park your car along the town on foot, then follow the steps leading to the beach of Inglesi.

There, a few feet above the sea you will find the garden and Ettore Guarracino at work aided by his lifelong companion Regina Buono.
Until 1967 this land, owned by the Brotherhood of St. John Joseph, was taken by settlers that commuted the rent offering casks of wine, at that time the only source of livelihood. It remained uncultivated for nearly forty years until 2010 when Ettore, nurseryman by profession and a lover of healthy eating, has managed to accomplish this great feat by removing clearing operations with brambles, brushwood and thirty tons of waste.

There are numerous cultivated lands on the island, but few are so close to the sea and preserved by destruction of property speculation. Even the inhabitants of the village and holidaymakers who have closely observed the transformation of the estate, through word of mouth, support and encourage the collection including the value that today more than yesterday this garden holds.
No need to be health-conscious or green-fingered enthusiasts to want a visit to this area. The contact with the land, the silence broken by the sound of the sea and wind, the smell of grass, the possibility of munching a cucumber or a tomato, wake dormant buds and especially the meeting with new friends constitute a good reason. With regulars like Gabriella, Ettore and Regina's daughter, who is still in kindergarten and students, involved last year in a project PON, partners, friends and the inhabitants, and even Mrs. Ida with its beautiful 90 years of age has arrived here.

It is not still possible to call "organic" the garden, but farming methods follow a natural process, because are banned chemical fertilizers. There are limits to plow, sow and reap, without using herbicides, even if this requires more attention, using the tractor as the only "technology".
The "spots of the earth" of a time, which first took the name of the second crop, now it's all a work in progress, since many trees have been replanted and some plots lie to be more productive next planting.
In fact, like a seed germinates and grows by giving satisfaction to the patient waiting and loving care, so the garden and its 6,000 meters of land, continue to "grow" and change. Now the air is suitable for a relaxation area and it will be easy to stop on one of the big wooden benches placed opposite to the sea. Behind, however, there is a plot reserved for the screws from around the world given to friends that will be tasty table grapes in a couple of years.
Walking and looking here and there, you will find the nursery, the hydrangeas, the giant Hibiscus, the Chamaerops, the rose garden and the cellar which now houses turkeys, golden goose and that tomorrow will be used as natural refrigerator, while the area in front of, not yet reclaimed, will be used as living for friends in a tent, of course, no profit. These are just projects, but the ideas are already clear.

The rewards are good. Seeing the growth of carrots can be a novelty and experience for many, even the houses on the island have almost all corners of greenery and Ischians a "peasant" side. For example, I did not know that carrots take three to four months to reach a height of only fifteen or twenty centimeters. Incredible those ones of the supermarket, which apparently would try all except Bugs Bunny.
The crop does not follow strictly the sowing season, based on the microclimate that allows me to pick the eggplant until the end of November or make me eat a strawberry, a survivor of many different varieties of tomatoes at the end of July. In my basket not green spicy peppers, zucchini, and I have to wait for the succulent watermelon. In September we will be seeding for the winter, I will find broccoli like the Romans ones, radishes, that last year have sprung up as big as a potato, cabbage, caps blacks and then producing a rich salad, lettuce and outstanding radicchio.
A great booty for vegans and vegetarians, stressed by everyday life, gym addicts, foodies, environmentalists and the list (not the shopping list but the friends editor's note) continues!

In August open every weekend from dusk onwards.
Slope S. Alessandro. Info Regina Buono 3384185200

by Alessia Impagliazzo

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Info on Ischia island

  • Surface: 46 Kmq
  • Hight: 789 mt
  • Lat.: 40° 44',82 N
  • Long.: 13° 56',58 E
  • Periplus: 18 miglia
  • Coasts: 51.2 Km
  • Cities: 6
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