Monestevole, Italy: October 17


Each day our work teams rotate around the farm duties in a four-day cycle.

Olive Harvest:

Today TEAM EARTH was on Olive harvest.  They spread the nets under the trees,  pruned the lower branches that suck energy from each tree and then use small rakes to pull the green and red fruits into the nets.  Everyone involved LOVED this work and are excited to take the day’s harvest to the oil mill later today:


Raking the Olives off of the Branches

Animals and Maintenance:  

Today TEAM AIR worked with Filippo to clean the chicken coup, feed the pigs, ducks, chickens and horses and measure our energy and water usage for the day.  They also moved the sheep and goats from their muddy habitat into last season’s garden to forage for food.


Miro: Chicken Whisperer

Kitchen Duty:

Each day we will be posting our lunch menu and one of Daniela’s incredible recipes.  We are so honored to be learning from such a wise local chef.

Today TEAM WATER is helping to make lunch and dinner.  The lunch menu includes: Squash with olives, potatoes from the garden, lettuce, carrots, pasta with homemade tomato sauce and home-grown peas, turnip greens,  and the following dish:

Daniela’s Pork Chop Recipe

The pork was from Monestevole’s own pigs so it was extra delicious.

Ingredients: homemade bread crumbs, garlic infused olive oil, rosemary, salt, pepper

Instructions: Daniela crushed a clove of garlic and put it into a jar of olive oil.  After it sat for 3 days, she used it for this dish. Today, Xochi made bread crumbs from yesterday’s bread.  Then she mixed them with the garlic olive oil, salt, pepper and fresh rosemary until the mixture felt moist. She put  the pork chops onto an oiled pan and pressed the breadcrumb mixture onto the meat. The pork chops were put into the oven with today’s fresh bread. They are cooked at 200 degrees for 40 minutes to an hour depending on their thickness. Daniela then chopped each pork chop into two or three pieces.


Daniela, our kitchen guru


Daily home-baked bread




Today TEAM FIRE worked with Nicolo to repair the front and back of the green house, plant fennel seedlings, and learned to whittle! They shared that whittling is less about strength and more about precision and confidence.  They mentioned “never whittle towards your body”.  The stakes they made were to secure the greenhouse walls. They also harvested potatoes.


In an attempt to extend the growing season here, we get to put the finishing touches on Monestevole’s new greenhouse


Planting some Fennel today


Each day we measure our consumption of Energy, Water, Food and Waste to see patterns in how our daily habits  impact the planet:

Heat: How many kilos of biomass are we consuming each day to heat the house for 30 people?

120 kilos of wood today

Food: What do we need to grow to cook lunch and dinner for 30 people?

50 potatoes, 3 kilos of flour, 1.5 kilos of pork, 3 kilos of turnip greens, 3 kilos of pumpkin, 2 kilos of tomato preserves, 1 kilo of peas, 27 carrots, 5 lettuce heads, 4 eggplants, 2 onions, 3 cauliflowers, 20 eggs, 1.5 kilos of risotto, 200grams of breadcrumbs, olive oil, coffee, salt, sugar, etc….

Water: We bagan measuring water consumption and production from the well.  Numbers to come tomorrow.

Recycled waste: (numbers tomorrow)

Landfill: (numbers tomorrow)

Compost: (numbers tomorrow)

Animal Food: (numbers tomorrow)

Energy: Energy consumption and production.  

Today we produced 25.5 kilowatts and used 50 kilowatts.



We found some mushrooms up by the pool and took one to Daniela (the all-knowing chef) who confirmed they were edible and delicious….so we harvested them and ate them for dinner! YUM.


Johnny, Ryan and Kayla jammed together before dinner


Steve McDonald showed up with a stack of the incredible coloring books he has drawn. We are obsessed. He even custom designed the pencils we are using to color them.


After dinner, we had a full moon bonfire in and around the pyrolysis stove.


The glow of the rocket stove on our happy faces.

2 thoughts on “Monestevole, Italy: October 17

  1. Pat mc Donald says:

    Italy sounds very exciting and so timely educational. Hopefully the students will carry the things they are learning when they are once again home!


  2. tonyvov says:

    Ahem actually it is a TLUD gasifier pyrolisis stove, AND I want one. keep posting those recipes. I wonder how many stick of firewood my Bali air-conditioner consumes.


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