A country cottage gave the farmer peace and shelter during bad weather and rain. The nets for the olive harvest and the tools were kept here. In the house there was always a parmento present, a basin made of cement, where, during the harvest, the grapes were crushed to separate the moisture from skin and seeds. The land in the mountains of Calabria consists of terraces. And this is, depending of the place, full of olive trees, vineyards, orange trees and other fruit trees. Between these trees, and of course near the water, there was always a kitchen garden.
At the river ( Il Fiume ) it used to come and go from villagers . In the absence of running water in the house , the women walked down to the river there was their doing . The large pieces of rock along the water they dried the laundry and then display it on their head up. Also lay on the river grain mills , driven by the force of the water .
From the book Blood Oranges (see books ) :
‘What we hear , has to be water . That ‘s the third touchstone for our choice : a lot of water around . We walk quickly . The sound swells until a loud noise and we get a view of a waterfall that cuts through granite rocks . After another thirty meters opens up a river bed topped by a piece of cultivated land , an orange grove and a stone cottage .
We hug each other . Speechless, we walk on, take off our shoes and stabbing the stream until we are in the ‘Garden of Eden’ . Orange and lemons trees, figs , grapevines , stone walls , terraces. We embrace each other for the second time. We do not even have to say it : for this place we came to Calabria .
I just want to become the owner of the place near the river where, once, all the people of the village had to come to do there laundry and wich is only accessible on foot via a mule path . The orange trees are not watered for at least two years with the water from the two streams that meet at this place. The vineyard , like the roses , not pruned. The cherries on the cherry trees – according to the villagers the best for miles around – are eaten by worms . The heavy crown of the ancient pear tree is broken by the wind . And the roof of the cottage , in which the tools are doing nothing for years, has failed’