I’m talking about folk who defended taste and typicality…while modern progress and comfort advanced, they kept their country roots, (long before today’s consoling farmers’ markets and organic produce).
These were the people that around our area, after the harvests, with good manners and dignity, would ask the land-owners if they could go ‘grazing’.
I’ve met loads all over Italy, that picked corn after the combine harvesters had been through the fields, for their hens, so they would give lovely yolks, red like a sunset, and others that would collect shrivelled up, left-behind bunches of grapes for sharp but tasty wines. From north to south, crop to crop.
The other day a couple knocked at the door of my farm, a lady and her husband, elderly but lively, cheery and hearty “can we collect the leftover olives, there's only a few but they're nice and juicy, over-looked by your pickers?”
I could have hugged them, so tenaciously attached to their history, witnesses of a way of life that is simple but parsimonious and conscientious. In my positive answer there was gratitude towards these two survivors of compulsive consumerism, because from each of those olives a drop of a world that I loved would be squeezed. Here we are today looking and searching incessantly for something, without even remembering what it is exactly we are looking for. We should remember this real world fondly and take example.