Umbria is a heavily agricultural region. I have written about the four main crops, winter wheat, corn, sunflowers and tobacco. Today I got to see a farm with animals. It was the first time I got a real idea of how this all works here. Many of our guests have commented on the fact they never see pastured livestock. Yes, sheep are often seen but cattle are not. They are mainly kept in the barns and fed or they have small outside pens. No pastures. It is due to the lack of manpower, fencing, space.
Today, I was part of a group of women, our former apartment buyers and two of their friends who are friends with Angela Pauselli, the daughter of the farmer who makes this pasta. I was happy to give us all a ride over there. I bought a lot! More than this picture!
This is an artisanal pasta maker here in Umbertide — Pauselli. They use old wheat varieties milled special for the pasta. We have purchased from them before but the shop is simply never open so I haven’t been able to get more. Sadly they are farmers and not marketers. They don’t promote the product or try to sell it. It makes me sad because it is very special and a very excellent product. It will disappear soon with no one to help. I am betting the slow food people would want to promote this. I will try to see what I can do.
We got a tour of the farm facilities from Angela’s dad. It is an extensive farm with a lot of livestock. They have a large solar farm so are somewhat sophisticated. Plus, as always they grow grapes (make wine for the family to drink), grow olives for oil, I saw a peach orchard, there were maybe 30 chickens. And pigs. The cattle were segregated into barns. The first was all the castrated males, destined to be butchered at about age two for meat. These cattle live in a barn. They are not pastured. Not the best life 🙁.
Animals are not generally pastured here. They are in the barns or in small enclosures. They feed them from the enormous, round hay bales they harvest during summer. The “girls” who were all together, along with the bull, and away from the young castrated males were mostly Limosine, Chianina or Charolais cattle. Almost all pure white. In the past the Chianina were used for all facets of a farm. They pulled the plow, pulled the cart, provided milk and provided meat. To me they are beautiful, large and known for their gentleness and docility.
When I got home I made pasta for dinner, 🙂, what else! I used my butter roma tomato sauce and some guanciale and pecorino romano. Mmmm.