Tomato plants left outside the library

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A nice surprise when the Giornaledibarganews  library was opened  this morning in Piazza Angelio in Barga Vecchia,   along with a couple of books that somebody had donated to the library, was a small plastic bucket containing 20 sturdy tomato plants.

These too were donations, this time for the Giornaledibarganews vegetable garden – more articles here.

Thank you Pietro Messina up at Grifoglia.

We lost no time at all in transferring them directly down to the field where we set up another row alongside the other 50 tomato plants already well-established and growing.

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One of the negative side-effects of having an electric fence to keep out the marauding porcupines is that the ground beneath the wire has to be kept clear.  Just one blade of grass touching the wire  is enough to short out  the whole fence.   This means that the ground has to be cleared regularly and checked daily.  It was another of the reasons for the downsizing this year and using far less electric fence –  digging around the complete perimeter is time-consuming and soul destroying but it has to be done.

For the moment everything is under control but once the good weather starts in earnest,  the grass and  weeds seem to grow at a ridiculously fast rate.

Along with the  tomato’s  some other plants were bought from the local supplier and these too were planted in the bottom field. Cucumbers,  aubergines  and some cabbages for later on in the season.

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On the bank dividing the top and the bottom field, a little experiment – two varieties of pumpkins  were planted in an attempt to maximise the amount of sun that they could soak up during the summer.  Not sure if they will actually survive on a steep slope,  we shall see.

Even though there is still a ridiculous amount of water sitting along the edge of the top field, this evening  some of the plants in the bottom field were starting to wilt from lack of water and  so it was necessary to get the hose out and to irrigate the parched looking seedlings.

The two varieties of beans seem to have had problems germinating  and that part of the field is looking very patchy.  The maize on the other hand,  is looking pretty vigorous and growing well.  Lets hope we didn’t leave it too long before planting this year.  We will know towards the end of the season.


The giornaledibarganews library opened in the offices of in Piazza Angelio, Barga Vecchia more than six years ago. Since then thousands of books have been catalogued, entered into the database and put up on the shelves where they are used by the many members of the exchange. They pay a yearly subscription of Euro30 which allows them to exchange up to three books at a time and keep the books for up to three weeks. More information here

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