Under the Tuscan Sun

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Morning Sun on 18th October

On Wednesday 19th October, we celebrated one year of solar energy at Ancora del Chianti!!

Exactly today, one year ago, Giulio and Marcello, technician at the National Electricy Board, connected our solar plant to the national wiring plant and we are proud to announce that our panels have been producing 4176 KWh in an year: from 18th October 2010 to 18th October 2011.

What a job!

This result is mainly due to the long and sunny summer that blessed us with sunny days (…and no days of rain) from the end of May up to mid October.

This is not only an interesting result for the oil/carbon we saved for not producing electricity with traditional methods but also we could cut CO2 emission for 2,715 kilos, important cause of climate change.

Pictures on our Flickr Page

1st MegaWatt at Ancora del Chianti

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In Mid October we had our our solar panel installed for electricity production and we started to produce clean energy in Chianti for our family and for the guests of our bed and breakfst.

People selling solar panels are (or must be) optimistic about the results as they have to promote their business of course, but we did not expect to be so true especially because we were facing winter!! They told us also about the benefits on the enviroment and …It all came true in a very short time!

Just Before 1000

The winter this year has been cold and rainy and we had very few days of sunshine. Despite that we had our first MEGAWATT in late March. Solar energy is free emission and producing 1 Mega with solar energy we saved oil for 250 Kg and reduced Carbon Dioxide for 500 Kg for enviroment benefit.

This is the picture just before 1000 watts and………………

Just After 1000

 

…….. here the picture just after 1000 watt of production!

Curious to know what’s in between? Easy to answer: a lovely Sunday picnic in the garden with kids for celebrating Springtime!!

Winter at Ancora del Chianti

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Most of our guests ask: “What do you do in winter?”

This is Filippo’s answer: “I take care of the vineyard and olive trees“.

Winter is a quite moment in the fields: pruning and maitenance is the main job to do. Fixing wires and supports is important to make sure that the plant has the proper heat, light and space in order to grow, develop and have the best grapes. Sometimes Filippo is obliged to replace poles alone and so he designed a new (heavy) tool that enables him to stick pole with no help. It is a clever idea we found during our last trip in Cote du Rhone (France).

Usually we do maintenance after/during pruning as it is important to act in accordance with the shape we want to give to the plants. Depending on shape, you can get different results:  what is the best is a big topic of winter discussion with our friends passionate of wine making.

More pictures on our Flickr Page.

Tonnis and Dianka

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Tonnis and Dianka spent their honeymoon at Ancora del Chianti and a few weeks later we received their thanking card after their stay. They look wonderful on the picture and very in love as they are. Like a fairy tale…

 We had a lot to share as they were both involved in enviromental matters and they tought me the “cradle to cradle philosophy”.  It is a very interesting concept that I invite everybody to think about: with the growing knowledge of the living earth, design of products, industrial system, buildings, even regional plan can reflect the intelligence of natural systems and combine nature and commerce fruitfully. Nature-inspired design principles can make industry both prosperius and substainable.

More pictures on our Flickr Page

Grape Tart Recipe

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“Schiacciata con l’Uva” is the most typical cake you will find in mamas’ hoven, bakeries and patisserie in September/October in Florence and surroundings. You cannot imagine how easy is to prepare a grape tart: the only difficulty is to have wine grape but a freezer can help.  On harvest day Filippo prefers to leave on the plant the bunches that are not ripe enough so I can go 1-2 weeks after the harvest and pick them. Grape Tart is such a delicious dessert also for winter season as you can serve it warm. I pick the grape as much as I can and then I freeze then in ricycled pasta plastic bag. They are very useful because they are usually transparent and you can recognise immediately that there is grape inside and they are enviromentally friendly because it is a good way to give a longer life to a product. Now let’s start!

Ingredients: 350 g of bread/pizza pasta, a bunch of wine grape, oil, rosmary, and a spoon of sugar cane (it is a secret…!)

For bread/pizza pasta: 250g flour, 100ml water, 1 tea spoons of salt, yeast, 1 table spoon of olive oil

 

 

Put olive oil in the pie tray and distribute with a finger also on the side. Then prepare the pasta in a round shape and put on the pie tray. Add grapes.

 

 

Add rosmary and cover the berries at the rim. Scatter sugar cane with a spoon like a rain. Put in hoven (180°) until the juice bubbles and bread is golden.

BUON APPETITO!

More pictures on our Flickrs Page.