Sustainable Products at February’s Fierucola Market

Piazza Santo Spirito, venue of La Fierucola

Despite the “orange zone,” designed to curb COVID contagions, the Fierucola Organic Market is still taking place on Sunday, February 21 between 9 am and 7 pm in piazza Santo Spirito.  Once upon a time, “organic” was the normal method of growing our produce, meaning no pesticides or artificial chemicals are used in the growing process. The good news is that this natural method can still be found even if only on a small scale.

The piazza comes alive with rows of farmers and bakers. This monthly event does a great job of eliminating the middle man as customers will often find themselves interacting with the producer of the product they are purchasing, complete with their knowledge.

For the most part, one can be rest assured that the honey or olive oil being taken home was made with the hard work and skills of a small-scale, sustainable farmer. Walking down the aisles the onlooker will often find the stands holding descriptions of the products along with pictures of the farm from which they came. One will also notice his or her sense of smell awakening as the scent of fresh herbs greets their nose.

Among the stands there are the nutritious basics like vegetables including cauliflower, kale, and Brussel sprouts still freshly intact on the stalk. Il Prato offers a good selection of Chianti wines and olive oils. One baker, also farmer of his own grain, from San Galgano sells loaves of bread where he is involved in the entire process from the growing to the stone-grinding. His bread contains an antique variety of 100 different types of grain. Another bakery, CA’ de Bosco offers rosemary bread, raisin bread, stuffed bread with cauliflower and cheese, or potatoes with carrots and herbs.

To complement the bakers, the stand I Frutti del Sole (meaning Fruits of the Sun) full of all kinds of different all-natural jams containing apple, pear, kiwi, melon, or even figs where free samples are eagerly given out. Additionally, there are people selling jarred vegetables, soups, pasta sauces, and blueberry juice at the Radici stand. Furthermore, there are also different types of ethically-made Italian cheese like caciotta, montaleggio, scamorze, tomini, and ricotta in the Rocchi stand.

Honey also abounds in this market. One stand specializes in honey and offers it from different sources which the bees pollinate such as acacia trees or chestnut trees. In addition to honey, they turn the beeswax into skin ointments to treat mosquito bites and dry skin—a great alternative to conventional ointments found in pharmacies with ingredients one often can’t even pronounce.

In another stand, the option is offered dof purchasing essential oils for one’s everyday needs, boasting a wide selection including lavender and tea tree oil. The customer can also find dried herbs of all kinds, sold by the grower himself.

Whether looking for a cleaner diet, or just a calm, morning stroll through a pleasant environment, the Fierucola market has something for everyone. More information at the website.   (martha beatriz gonzalez)