The Olive Harvest
You can take an active part in the olive harvest, usually in October in Sicily, by each “adopting” one or more olive trees, which would then entitle you to an amount of oil proportional to the amount of olives collected. Working in the shade of a great, century old olive tree is an experience that takes you way back in space and time. The drill here at casa Migliaca has remained the same through the centuries: one or more individuals using a pole or a modern picking tool, called “cutulaturi”, beat the olive branches causing the olives to fall onto a net laid on the ground; a group of “pickers” then collect the olives. This work is collective by nature, thus the whole family can participate, including children, grandparents, guests and friends, in a relaxed atmosphere where harmony becomes natural. In the old days this work had more rhythm to it and there was more awareness of its importance. Olive oil, today destined to consumption as food, was originally a source of energy comparable to modern petroleum products, as it was the essential ingredient for heating, cooking, for soaps, illumination etc.
Identification of Wild Herbs
This is an all around cultural activity that starts from the observation of the terrain, an inexhaustible source of food and therapeutic resources that the modern man, living in the confines of a city, no longer knows, or knows only marginally. A knowledge thereof limited only to the industrial production found in supermarkets, possibly vacuum packed. And yet a short cycle of walks in the country accompanied by an expert may suffice to discover limitless numbers of wild herbs found anywhere, all rich in therapeutic properties. As you progress, and based upon your needs, you will learn where to look for specific herbs as herbs “speak” to you and tell you where to find this or that vegetable, based on the location, and terrain composition: acid or alkaline, rich or poor of a given mineral, etc. For example, you can learn where to look for fennel or borage, where to find cabbage or mustard, buckwheat or chamomile.
Due to its location and for the last 200 years, Casa Migliaca has been one of the oldest lemon growing sites in Sicily. One of the most renowned lemon species, the ”Femminello Santa Teresa”, available all year around is grown at Casa Migliaca using biodynamic techniques and marketed under a protected trademark. It would be redundant to describe the universally known qualities of lemon as a food, however, its countless qualities can be used also in pharmaceuticals The juice of a fresh lemon accounts for about 30% of its weight and contains 6 to 8% citric acid, malic acid, calcium and potassium citrates, large amounts of B1, B2 and B3 vitamins, carotene, vitamin A, up to 50 mg vitamin C every 100 g of juice, mineral salts and metal components such as iron, phosphorus, manganese, copper.