Interview: Piero Giordano, Palazzo Adriano


Interview: Piero Giordano, Palazzo Adriano

Description of the environment where the activity takes place:

Palazzo Adriano rural area is characterized by olive trees, vines and cereals cultivation, all typical species of the Mediterranean environment. Here there are also a lot of vegetable gardens, pasture for the bovine and, especially, ovine farming. This allows a remarkable dairying production and a diet of healthy food, without chemical preservatives, for the local population (e.g. olives, seasonal fruits and vegetables, pure olive oil, cereals, fresh and aged cheese, etc.).


Description of the technique/method/practice implemented.

The seeding of the beans starts in mid-June and the harvest ends at the end of November.

The small seed groups of 5-6 must be planted one by one in a little deep way so that they can sprout without problems and can creep in the reeds that were pre-arranged immediately after the seeding.

This is a plant that needs a lot of water and in fact is watered every two days from the moment when it comes out from the ground.


List and description of the tools used

Nowadays the irrigation system generally involves the employment of drop tubes whereas the interviewee still uses the old irrigation system that consists in diverting the flow of water thanks to small ditches dug in the ground, by barring or opening with the hoe the passage.


List of natural products from the production activity:

Near the beans production, the farmer also cultivates other vegetables like tomatoes, vegetable marrows, fava beans and onions, all ingredients that can be possibly used together with beans.


Piero’s bean production is for familiar use only, although in the future the production for trade is not excluded. It is interesting noticing how in many cases the farmer is also the person who sells the product, determining a direct chain for its provision and assuring the organoleptic and nutritional properties.


How did you learn this method/technique/practice?

The seeding, cultivation and bean irrigation techniques have been handed down from father to son, preserving the familiar traditions as of the productive manual techniques.

Personal reference to Mediterranean traditions?

In the region surrounding Palazzo Adriano farming is common, for this reason it is an activity that is not likely to disappear. In the past, this kind of beans was also exported whereas today it is typically a familiar consumption product. The future of this specific legume is in doubt as it is unknown if young people will keep working on this native cultivation and using the traditional techniques.

There are two varieties of this bean: one is lacking in the fibrous filament that joins the two parts of the seed pod, while the other one has it. This type of cultivation is particularly common in the region of Palazzo Adriano, and in the past it used to be sold also in the neighboring towns like Prizzi.


Any local tradition this method is connected to? If yes, which one? 

The type of soil influences the production, and in this area it is particularly favorable for the farming of cereals and legumes.Due to the abundance of water in the territory, it is possible to use traditional techniques to irrigate the bean cultivations, not irrigating every single plant through water pipes but using furrows in which water flows for the whole length of the seeded field.

Is this activity connected to the territory you live in?

The type of soil influences the production, favoring in this area the production of vegetables, while limiting the cultivation of cereals and pulses.

During which season is this activity carried out?

Beans are used to make a delicious sauce for pasta, to enrich the minestrone soup or with other vegetables like zucchinis and potatoes. In addition to that it can be eaten by itself in a soup or salad spiced with oil and vinegar. During the winter beans can be consumed in its dried version.The seeding starts in mid-June and the harvest ends at the end of November.


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