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

Homesteading for Health

When I was in my early twenties, I began to feel unwell. Having grown up eating the standard American diet, this was no surprise. My menstrual cramps were unbearably painful
and I got colds like I was a magnet for them. Sinus infections and antibiotics were a part of my annual routine….

Read More

New Year, New Goals

The New Year has arrived and for me that means it’s time to buckle down and solidify the goals that I have for our Homestead for the year, as well as the upcoming growing Season.

Read More

Small Things Still Have Big Meanings

I remember when we really started getting into our homestead journey. Ken was starting to outgrow his little garden and I was ready to take on more animals besides chickens. But when I envisioned our homestead growing, I saw acres filled with cows and goats, chickens roaming free, a big barn on the hill, you know…a farm…

Read More

Livestock Guardian Dogs

Just a week ago my dog, Leela, gave birth to an adorable litter of puppies. It’s been an exciting and exhausting experience as first-time breeders. Since canines are occupying a lot of my thought-space right now I thought that this month I would share about the importance of livestock guardians…

Read More

Christmas Crepes

Ever since the first Christmas I can remember, these Crepe’s have been part of our Christmas morning. My mom would make them every year…

Read More

The Slow Season

The bushels of produce that cluttered the kitchen floor are now neatly tucked into a rainbow of jars on the pantry shelves. Days spent weeding and harvesting will now be spent indoors by the woodstove and in the kitchen enjoying the meals we worked so hard for over the growing season…

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