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:



Share on facebook
Share on pinterest
Share on email

MORE Stories

Work Life Balance

It’s ironic in a way, to be writing a guest blog post for Homestead Mamas in the homestretch of harvest while I’m absolutely not manifesting any type of work-life balance what-so-ever. I’m writing to you while multitasking on cider production on what is probably my 40 straight 10 hour day of work. But it will be winter soon and things will ease up and over the past 20 years I’ve gotten used to the fact that folks are going to be thinking about apples, and ciders, and the people that grow and make them in the fall– when the apples are ripe!…

Read More

Misconceptions of the Homestead

My motivation to start homesteading sprouted many years before I spent any amount of time on social media.I’d never even spent much time on a farm! Oh, how I was so naive. I loved the idea of becoming self sustainable and growing/producing my own food. At the time I mostly wanted a garden and laying hens. I thought both would be romantic and magical…

Read More

Go Out and Hunt, Mama!

For this blog post, I wanted to go into a little bit of the nuances of hunting. In previous takeovers and posts I have spoken about why we hunt, both from a conservation standpoint and a personal standpoint, but I’ve said very little about how to actually go about hunting!..

Read More

Cooking with Real Pumpkin

I have been a fan of all things pumpkin my whole life. A friend of mine once bought me a shirt that said “you had me at pumpkin spice” and while my husband teased me relentlessly about it, the fact remains: it was true! Whether you are a pumpkin fanatic or you prefer the seasons definitively stay in their own lane… now what it’s October, I think we can agree: it’s time for some fall baking!

Read More

Cold & Flu Season Supportive Herbs

We are heading into the time of year where it seems like everyone has a pot of elderberry syrup simmering on their stove. And while I am a big fan of elderberry, There are so many more options out there for cold and flu support. My son isn’t a fan of elderberry syrup, so I have gotten creative with how I can sneak herbs into his diet for preventative health or for when a sickness inevitably makes it way into our home…

Read More

Pie Math

There are so many kitchen skills that a Homestead Mama would do well to develop— whether you live in the city or country, on acreage or in an apartment, we talk here all the time about the ways we can put food on our family’s table all year long…

Read More

Making our own Pectin

Canning season is coming to an end here. Autumn is rolling in to our small corner of Scotland and it will be wool socks and frost around here soon. Apples are one of the last things that make an appearance here, with most of our soft fruits coming ripe months earlier. One of my last canning tasks every year is making pectin for next year’s jams and jellies that need the additional help to set…

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