Elderflower foraging walk

Why collect elderflower in your back garden if you can take a gorgeous 2 km elderflower foraging walk around the farm?

There’s a big elder outside Casina Nuova, but this morning I wanted to take a walk so I decided to walk around the Western borders of the farm and pick elderflowers from the smaller […]

FORAGING wild greens

In Le Marche (and many other parts of Italy) in Spring and early Autumn it’s common to see men and women out in the countryside with big plastic bags or baskets picking something from the weedy and unkempt field. They are probably foraging wild greens, or “erbe di campo” (field greens or literally field […]

Foraging for simplicity

Last Summer one of the students of the Urbino Project (a program  for student journalists from around the world to develop multimedia journalism stories to document the people and places of Urbino and the Marche Region of Italy) came to Valle Nuova, this is the article that she wrote.
And here’s a great article by another […]

FORAGING: wild asparagus

As you may know by now if you have been reading this blog, foraging is very popular in Le Marche region of Italy.
At Valle Nuova we collect all sorts of wild herbs, flowers, berries, sprouts and, last but surely not least, the amazing white truffle. One of the most popular plants that is easy […]

FORAGING: vitalbe… “traveller’s joy” in a plate

Vitalbe (clematis vitalba, traveller’s joy, old man’s beard) are one of the many plants that we forage here in Northern Le Marche. When you think of a clematis you probably visualize a cascade of big elegant flowers, not an omelette…

Traveller’s joy is not as gifted as its cousins and only features small whiteish strudy flowers […]

FORAGING: Saint John’s Wort oil

It’s not the right season to prepare this – as every other witchy plant Saint John’s wort is collected on Saint John’s day (June 24th) – but today I was rearranging my medicines drawer and I found last year’s Saint John’s wort oil so I thought that it was better posting the recipe today […]

Photo of the day: foraging and wild flowers

Today we spent some time collecting herbs for decoration and foraging: oats and another wild herb for drying, wild flowers, new olive branches for liqueur and vitalbe (young shoots of Old man’s beard or Traveller’s joy) for delicious omelettes.

FORAGING: green walnuts for Nocino

I posted my Nocino (green walnuts liqueur) recipe some time ago but, having started this new series about foraging, I thought that I should include the Nocino. I have just been collecting green walnuts for 2012 nocino and we’re about to try the one I made in 2011 (I leave it rest for 1 […]

FORAGING: Dandelion liqueur

Ever since I discovered that dandelion is the English name of Taraxacum officinale I thought that it was a funny name… Dandelion is originally Dent de lion (Lion tooth), the French name for it. It’s called the same in Italian (Dente di leone) and I guess that it refers to the toothed shape of the leaves.

The […]


In my opinion one of the pleasures of living in the countryside is getting in touch with nature in many different ways.

I love having the possibility of meeting the little creatures that inhabit our world without us realizing. Today, driving along a white road by the farm, I saw a blackbird in the middle […]