I'm so excited that I needed to share this!
We just signed a contract to install a total of 13 KW of Photovoltaic panels serving both the Locanda and the farm. It will cover 90% of the needs of the Locanda and the horse stables and 100% of the needs of the cow-sheds, mills to produce our feed, granary etc.
After more than 25 years working for sustainability, producing organically, supporting local (organic) produce, producing our own heat and hot water with renewable energies (sun and wood), recycling, reusing, saving energy, this is a great moment for us! We'll be able to produce most of the energy that we use at the Locanda and the farm (everything except gas for cooking, since we do not want to switch to electric cookers!).
Next step will be applying for the EU Ecolabel certification for accommodation services. "Greenwash" is becoming a serious issue and it's no longer enough to be a self-proclaimed "green accommodation"... as we did with organic agriculture years ago, we want an official certification to let everybody know that we're serious about sustainability.
This is a long process and we need our solar panels to be installed before starting, so I think I'll wait until the season ends this coming winter... I'll keep you posted!
When it's snowing and deadly cold there's not much you can do in the countryside... one of the nicest things is chatting with friends, both "live" or through skype, facebook, etc. This evening I was chatting with my friend Letizia, from Agriturismo alla Madonna del Piatto in Assisi, who keeps a beautiful blog mainly devoted to her great recipes (she also runs a cooking school at her place). She suggested that I add more recipes in my blog, specifically preserves recipes... I was thinking about some interesting recipe to post when I came across a list of all the preserves that are currently in our storeroom at the Locanda, waiting for guests to arrive in June. It looked that it would make everybody understand why Letizia suggested Preserves instead of, let's say, cakes or pastas...
So here it goes:
Fruit in syrup: yellow “cherry” plums, prunes, sour-cherries, apricots, peaches, pears. Compote: apples, plum, peach, pears, quince. Juices: yellow “cherry” plums, apple, pear, concord grapes, white bianchello grapes, quince, apricot, peach, sour-cherry, “sorbus domestica”. Jams: parsimmon, peach, white peach, apricot, cherry, apple, sour-cherry, red berries, sloe (blackthorn), strawberry, Angelica pear, Williams pear, plum, apple lemon & sage, white peach, mellon, white watermellon, figs. Marmelades: orange, citron, tangerine. Jellies: elderflower, quince, blackberry, concord grapes, bianchello grapes, sour-cherry & sangiovese wine. Reductions: sloe, green walnut. Sour-cherry syrup. “Chutneys”: plum, green tomato, red onions. Caramelized figs Strawberry sauce Violet jelly Rose petals jam Sauces: tomato, mixed vegetables, porcini mashrooms Ketchup Stock concentrate: beef chicken & vegetables, vegetables Baby artichokes in OEVOO (organic extravergin olive oil) Stuffed baby peppers in OEVOO Sweet and sour pickled cornichons Pickled cornichons Zucchini in OEVOO Aubergines in OEVOO Green peppers in OEVOO Pickled mildly-hot green chiles Mixed peppers spread Liqueurs: green walnut, mint, balm-mint, camomille, lemon-verbena, orange & balm mint, orange & anis, sloe (blackthorn), “sorbus domestica”, yellow “cherry” plum, apple pips, honey & coriander, elderflower, elderberry, bay berry, quince, anis, cherries & spices, fennel, sour-cherry, grapefruit, apricot, pear, tangerine.