paesaggi di mezzo
scent of wheat
The "scent of the wheat tour: from the harvesting to processing." Losing yourself in the "paesaggi di mezzo", means letting yourself be surprised by the intense and changing colours of wheat fields and by their unexpected beauty. It is to live the hidden charm of the less known Sicily starting from its heart: the middle lands (terre di mezzo). We will unravel the story and traditions with the people who were born, and chose to live and work here.
Walking down the street which leads from Caltanissetta to the nearby hills that gently descend towards the Valle del Salso, the view of a small countryside church on the Pisciacane mount will guide us until Santa Rita an almost forgotten small agricultural village is reached, only 11 inhabitants and ancient beauty.
Among the streets of the village the smells, the perfumes, the colours will take us back in time. If we pause to listen as by magic it will seem to hear the voice of the only teacher of the village who calls the children back to school or the ringing of the bells that invite on holidays the families from the nearby farmlands. Nowadays, the village continues to live thanks to the tenacity and attachment to these lands of men like Maurizio who was born,+ played, attended school here and who in his wooden-oven, every day, churns out his "pani" (the loaves of bread) made "like they used to be made", with ancient grains and "lu criscenti" (yeast base); men like Angelo, who grazes the sheep on the village fields, or men like Giuseppe who prepares the cheese that he brings and sells in town.
Once left the village, to reach near Mercato D'Arrigo, we will cross the wheat fields that Michele takes care of with such great passion and dedication.
Proud "caretaker of the perciasacchi" (a kind of flour) Michele, really knows the ancient grains ad in the farm he jealously preserves the tools used when life was more tiring and time passed by slowly in the fields. About around noon, when a nice breeze rises, farmers and their mules went "a spagliare" (a special agricultural process) in the barnyard, the eggs were taken when the hens sang and life used to follow the rhythm of the earth and the seasons.
Within this historical-social framework the Association "Paesaggi di Mezzo" will arrange, the lastweekend of June, between route Mercato D'Arrigo and village Santa Rita of Caltanissetta, the "wheat feast - from harvesting to processing". The event aims to tell stories, culture, customs and typical sites in the hinterland of Sicily.
During the weekend there will be moments linking the enhancement of some links in the supply chain (harvesting, milling, processing) to training spaces and workshops, with a particular focus on the supply chain of local earliest grains. This will be achieved through the active collaboration of Michele Cancemi's farm, the "Molino Ferrara" (Ferrara's mill), of the bakers Maurizio Spinello (owner of the Santa Rita's wood-oven) and Salvatore Carletta (owner of the "Antico forno").
Participants will actively contribute to the wheat harvesting, the ginning of the spikes with the ancient weighting system (pesatura), with the passage of mules over the harvested ears of wheat, after the preparation of the barnyard and the removal of straw through the process of "spagliatura" (slit) assisted by the wind.
This will be done with the re-enactment of ancient songs and moments of conviviality. This initiative, through the participation of the harvesting, revived according to the now outdated ways, wants to commemorate the long-gone years during which this activity represented -moreover- a collective fest.
With such an event, we want to focus on the relationship between dietary habits, habitat and territory, as well as promoting the land through the appreciation of the traditions. After the wheatharvest, the milling will be carried out using stone mills, obtaining wholemeal flour that will be transformed into naturally leavened dough and bread with the addition of sourdough "crescente"
Groups who want to learn, except the typical circuits, an identity story, rituals and traditions linked to the agriculture of the inhabitants of the inland areas of central Sicily.
A minimum of 20 people is required
On the first day of the tour: Arrival at the Hotel in Caltanissetta, check-in and welcome cocktail, dinner and overnight stay.
On the second day of the tour: Breakfast and departure for Borgo Santa Rita; arrival, welcome and introduction to the collection and spagliatura activities; beginning of the collective harvest of local ancient wheat, with “ancient way” scythe; lunch break with tasting of typical local products by Maurizio Spinello of Forno Santa Rita; resumption of activities with the “wood thresher” and the so called “facimu aria”; transfer to a local mill, guided tour of the stone mill, its flours and the production process; return to the hotel, dinner at a typical restaurant with live music.
On the third day of the tour: breakfast and departure for the Cancemi farm, arrival at the company, welcome and introduction to the workshop course on “bread making” by Salvatore Carletta (Antico Forno); experiential laboratory with flour of local ancient grain (Russello, Timilia, etc.) for the creation of baked products (loaves of bread, biscuits and sweets) with relative final tasting; walk in the experimental cereal fields; transfer to Borgo Prestianni and relative visit; return to the hotel and dinner.
On the fourth day of the tour: check-out and departure.
Booking through: Fabiola Rizza, Caltanissetta - Ph: +39 0934 585984 - Mob. +39 339 2246425