Summer has finally arrived in Le Marche. The balers are making hay and creating fever pitched frustration amongst the drivers on the narrow roads. Vineyards are being weeded, sprayed (for bugs?), and prayed over. One way or another the countryside is a-buzz.
And then there are the odd, few fields where, it seems, time has stood still. Here men drive their womenfolk in the early morning and leave them to their day’s work, harvesting the crop. The women wear long, flowered dresses, with dark scarves tied over their heads and as they work they chat to each other loudly and unceasingly. The crop (for what it is I do not know) is gathered into little stacks around a wigwam-like,wooden frame. When the frame has been covered with the dried grassy/hay-like crop, a little canvas “sail” or “hat” is tied on top and each corner fastened with string which is staked to the ground. These little stacks have something medieval (almost primeval) about them. Something one of the Breughels might have painted. We have gleaned that the stacks are called “cavalli” (horses) because of those little hats tied on top like saddles (?). The idea is, apparently, that from the stack, seeds, or perhaps beans? (or perhaps magic beans?) will fall – this is the harvest. It looks as though this method of harvesting has not changed for centuries. I don’t really want to know what the crop is; that would break the spell.
See on ilgelsolemarche.blogspot.it
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