Farm Stories from the Alps // Slowing the Pace

Vea Carpi is a homestead mama, baker, & author living on a ‘maso’ in the Italian Alps with her husband Renzo and her three children, Pietro, Viola, Sole. Vea is passionate about making delicious and healthy food as well as serving it at the Farm-To-Table restaurant that they operate as a family.

My dear friends, it’s been quite a long time I haven’t been here with you. Life has been hectic during summer (I think you know what I am talking about). 

Sometimes it feels kind of overwhelming having to manage the farm from Monday to Wednesday and the restaurant Thursday to Sunday. We practically never get a day off. And my husband is also working outside the farm Mo-Fri. I am not here to complain, but just to tell you  that we made many thoughts about it. I have been listening to many voices here on Homestead Mamas, suggesting all of us to take time off. We have chosen this life because we wanted a slower pace, didn’t we? On the other hand, there is budget to think about: we have loans and bills that need to be paid, just as everybody else has to. These two needs have been on the table long enough. We made up our minds and decided we are going to close the restaurant on Sundays, November to March. This will give us some time to rest and to spend with our kids. I realized this might be one of the last winters we are going to be all together stably. We are going to add Thursday dinner shifts instead of Sunday. I know we’ll lose some income, but I feel that we all need this so much and that we would regret it otherwise. 

So, let’s talk about my favorite season here: fall! I am sure I am in good company. Crispy mornings, clear deep blue skies, yellows and greens and browns and reds all around the forest…that’s just wonderful. 


With fall comes also the harvesting season. Up here the season is quite short, and at the end of September we are already thinking about frosts and snow. 

Fall also means potato and corn harvesting. I wanted to talk to you about these two crops that are so important in mountain people’s diet and suddenly I realized…THEY COME FROM AMERICA! So here I am, talking to you (mostly Americans) about your native plants and about how these plants saved lives here and made people’s lives so much better. And how they have become the most important ingredients for our most popular dishes.

In the Italian Alps potatoes and corn (mais) started to be cultivated in 1800. Before that people up here were basically surviving on beets and wheat and rye. But potatoes and corn are so much more nutritious and have more calories per kilo. And they adapted splendidly to our climate. 

Here in the north of Italy we eat a lot of polenta, a special and easy dish we make with corn flour: we are often called “polentoni” from southern italians (it means “polenta eaters” more or less). 
Potatoes are, if possible, even more popular. I have so many recipes in my mind with them. 
There is one though I’d love to share with you. It’s so simple and yet so delicious and nutritious: it’s like an ode to old times, when mountain farmers had to be very creative with what they had (and believe me when I tell you that they didn’t have much up here in the days)
500 gr peeled potatoes
50 gr all purpose flour (or buckwheat flour for a gluten free version)
1 teaspoon salt
fat for frying
Grate the raw potatoes (you can also coarsely blend them in a blender). Let them sit for a while in a strainer (never mind if they oxidate a bit) so that they release some water (especially if they are freshly harvested you should allow water to get out). 

Mix potatoes, flour and salt. You’ll get a coarse dough. Heat the fat in a frying pan and scoop spoons of the dough in the frying fat. Fry until heavenly cooked. We usually have them with cheese or spreads (or even cranberries jam).


Please join us by sharing, continuing the conversation below, and connecting with Vea at the following:



MORE Stories

Deeply Rooted

I am not well traveled. I’ve never flown on a plane. I’ve never been north of Ohio or west of Texas.I’m not as well traveled as some may say one should be, but this piece of land has housed all of my fondest memories…

Read More

Embracing Joy on a Humble Life Journey

Do you ever worry that your kids will miss out because of this homesteading lifestyle choice? This fear crosses my mind time to time. I’m sure many, if not most of you, could agree that it can be extremely difficult to get extended time away from the homestead for more than a full day, especially in the busy summer months when daily chores demand our regular attention…

Read More

Healing on the Homestead

“In some Native languages the term for plants translates to ‘those who take care of us’ … the land knows you, even when you are lost.” – Robin Wall Kimmerer, Braiding Sweetgrass…

Read More

Babies, Business, and Bumper Crops

Babies, Business, and Bumper Crops: How I am Learning to Homestead with Babies in Tow

Have you ever had one of those days? You know the days when you are cleaning the baby’s diaper, milking the cow, scooping poop in the barn, wiping noses, and cleaning more poop off of kids’ shoes…

Read More

Frontier Homesteading

Hey there, Homesteading Mama’s!
I’m Rachel from @frontier_homesteading. My husband Ryan, three children and I have been homesteading for about 10 years now, first in Wyoming and now in Alaska.
We currently have milk goats, pack goats, sheep, a pig, a cow, chickens, rabbits, bees and a dog. Seasonally, we also have more pigs, meat chickens and turkeys….

Read More

Holiday Stained Glass Windows with RuthAnn

Stained glass windows date back to the 7th century. With the earliest known reference dating
from 675 AD when workmen were imported from France to Britain to Glaze the windows of a

Read More

Returning to Nature

Homesteading and growing food is not the easy way out of this life, i would say it is the hard way as there’s nothing convenient about it. It’s a lifestyle, a life change not a trend or hobby. Well, that’s my opinion any way…

Read More

Awakino Station

Awakino Station is a child’s dream. There is the river to splash in, tussock covered hills to explore, animals to raise and a bustling kitchen with a baking tin full of something yummy to eat…

Read More

Join In The Conversation

Notify of

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

A Patchwork of Homestead Mamas

An inspiring & encouraging community of Homestead Mamas. For growers, hunters, foragers, & explorers; with little hands & little hearts alongside.

Join Our Community