Near Assisi, an “Integrated Fight” for Fruit and Vegetable Goodness
What zucca magnifica we’ll have for our Thanksgiving: a splendid squash of brilliant orange pulp. My favorite: la Marina di Chioggia variety.
….and from our favorite fruit and vegetable stand, that of the Migliosi family not far from Assisi.
The Migliosi family cultivates all they sell with the lotta integrata method. “Biologico?” I once asked owner Roberto. “No….ma che cos’e veramente biologico?” “No..but what truly is organic?” he replied with a twinkle when I asked if their production was organic.
“Integrated pest management” is the translation I found for the Italian term “lotta integrata,” literally, “an integrated fight.” ( I do like the literal translation better).
A fight against what? Insect pests through a limited use of plant protection products (fitofarmaci), a targeted crop rotation, introduction of vegetation resistant to insects, cultivation of the most resistant strains of fruits and vegetables, a targeted “sexual confusion” of the damaging insects, the rendering of insects sterile (SIT) – to name a few characteristics of a lotta integrata production.
What splendid fruits and vegetables from this “integrated fight. Their own lotta integrata olive oil is for sale there now, too (for as long as it lasts!)
…and such a kaleidoscope of colors when you enter, whatever the season……
Late fall colors
Roberto and his wife, Emanuela – or perhaps their children, Sofia and Andrea – serve up the clients. It’s all in the family here.
And like confiding a secret recipe to a sister, Emanuela will gladly share ideas on how to cook up whatever you buy. Seeking an enticing new way to serve your family leeks, winter squash, orange cauliflower, chicory, beets? Just ask Emanuela. She’ll tell you as she cuts that squash.
As she cut it for me, we talked about Thanksgiving culinary traditions. For turnips this year, I bought their sedano rape (“celery turnip”):
No sweet potatoes this year but Emanuela promised that they’d consider cultivating them for me for next fall. In the meantime, mille grazie to the Migliosi family for all the vegetable and fruit goodness: the result of a successful “integrated fight.”
Read more here about integrated pest management
Click here for a favorite Emanuela squash recipe
Click here for a Sicilian recipe I make with their squash
Click here for a favorite recipe starring many of the Migliosi fruits