Green Traveler is a series about travelers making a difference at home or abroad.
Ashley Bartner wrote this post on organic farming and cooking in Italy.
She is an American expat living with her Chef husband Jason in the Italian countryside of Le Marche where they own and operate La Tavola Marche Agriturismo & Cooking School. Bartner is also a travel and food writer.
Guests at La Tavola Marche Agriturismo & Cooking School.
Even on our first trip, on our honeymoon, we felt at home in Italy, connected to this land, the people and their food.
We knew we wanted to run an agriturismo and cooking school. We had stayed at agriturismos and enjoyed the atmosphere of staying on a working farm in Italy.
Ashley & Jason Bartner.
After living in NYC for seven years, we were done with the hustle and bustle of the big city. We were ready to slow down and enjoy the day and each other and live for the moment.
This is one of the most important values we share with our guests. We do things in the old-way here, including curing our own meats, making our own liquors, bottling our wine & jarring/preserving everything else!
We take guests on honey tastings, mushroom & truffle hunts, walks for wild edibles and collect dinner along the way. From porcini to wild radicchio, our fields and woods are full.
La Tavola Marche is founded on our feelings that food is one of the most unique and enjoyable ways to get to know a new destination.
La Tavola Marche is located at Agriturismo Ca’Camone in Sant’Angelo in Vado, a farm holiday on over 500 acres of rolling hills and farmland in a truffle-rich valley.
We share the simplicity of Italian cooking, taking the freshest possible ingredients and preparing them simply.
Meeting in the kitchen of our 300-year-old stone farmhouse, guests tie on a handmade apron and head into the garden to collect the ingredients for the cooking class with a stop at the chicken coop to pick up fresh eggs.
With a crate full of fresh picked veggies and eggs, the cooking begins.
These are hands-on, roll up your sleeves, dive-right-in classes. We cater to our guests at every cooking level from the novice to the professional.
Everything we serve is local and seasonal inspired by local traditions.
Most dishes only have 3 or 4 ingredients – extra virgin olive oil, salt (maybe lemon or vinegar) and the veg of choice. Here is a seasonal recipe: Stinging Nettle Ravioli with Butter & Sage.
In half and full day cooking classes and Farm to Fork packages, we teach the basics of eating seasonally and preserving to extend your growing season.
We love sharing this experience with our guests. They return home more connected to the land of Le Marche, slowly changing their eating habits and supporting their local farmers at home.
Here are more scenes from La Tavola Marche:
The joys of eating Italian food.
Images courtesy of La Tavola Marche Agriturismo & Cooking School.