Thursday, June 24, 2010

una vera contadina

So I bought a hoe.

Augusto: "Lina, devi avere una zappa. Devi." ("Lynn, you need to have a hoe. You must.")

After weeks of working with Augusto on my orto, and hearing that about 1 million times, I broke down. I bought a hoe. At dinner the other night with Augusto and the other Lina (Augusto's wife is called Lina, too), I said, feeling very proud of myself "I bought a hoe!"

Augusto: "Ahhh...adesso sei una vera contadina." ("Now, you're a real farmer girl.")

Hmm...Is that a good thing? Do I want to be a real farmer girl? Don't get me wrong, I like my hoe but didn't my ancestors leave their own country so they could get away from the sweat and tears of working the land? Didn't my grandparents work really hard so their children and their children's children could do other things? Do I want to have hands that are disproportionately strong, callused, and have permanent mud caked under the nails? Do I want to toil in the scorching sun building a fence to keep wild animals away from my food?

One day recently David called. He asked what I was doing. "Oh, I'm just between jobs. I'm sewing some purses, then I've got to go weed the orto, then I've got to do some translation work on the website"

David: "You're such a post-modern woman."

That sounds a little better -- a post-modern woman with a hoe.

Thank you to all of you who have sent condolences and words of encouragement about the cinghiale incident. The f$^&*rs just took a couple eggplants, ate the tops off a bunch of the lettuce and dug up most of the chard (a real pisser since I had just learned what it was and how to prepare it). I'm happy to report that the tomatoes, peppers, zucchini, beans and onions are still standing.

House/knitting projects resume next week, I hope.

Before anyone asks (Mary and Earle in Denver), I don't work in my orto with a hoe barefoot. I have some ugly, post-modern shoes for that. The photo is just me resting my contadina ass after a morning of post-modern toiling.


  1. congratulations on the new hoe! I have one, too, in the shed. ;) Next year I should do more veggie gardening because we are scheduled to be home in the Spring so I guess I'll be a post modern woman with a hoe in my hand, too. I'm glad much of your garden survived the piggie invasion!

  2. I like the idea of a post modern woman with a hoe.