July 17, 2009

Lunch at La Petraia with Michael Pollan

Entrance to La Petraia, cypress and fields of lavendar

I was thrilled to be invited to one of the days of Michael Pollan's week-long program at La Petraia, an organic farm and B&B in Chianti. The trip was organized by Truffle Pig Travel and from the looks of the group that attended, it was the trip of a lifetime.

Driving up through the gates, the fragrance of the fields of lavender in bloom was overwhelming and the thrumming of the bees made me smile. ( I learned bees thrummed from Michael before lunch!)

Due to record heat, the group started their foraging day too early for me to arrive from Certaldo, so I met with them in Susan's incredible kitchen for a demo on wild things available in the area.

Giulliano and Mark- the foraging experts of La Petraia

Purslane, wild chicory, wild fennel greens, nastursiums, wild mints part of our salad

La Petraia is an organic farm producing almost everything they need on site. Todays foraging even brought some porcini mushrooms, chantrels and others. Our salad was made with both wild greens and flowers with someof their own from the gardens. We made fresh pasta, layering rose petals, wild fennel and parsley into the sheets, very lovely!

Crispy pig ear appetizers

Michael, Isaac and Judith Pollan ( Elizbeth Minchilli in the back)

After a long and leasurely lunch in the gardens, we gathered in the main part of the house to listen to Michael speak. He is a pleasure to listen to and hopefully with his writings and speaking events will help to change how we eat and save the earth!

Micheal pointed out several ways to actually be active in our choices in our own lives and helping to change the politics of food. In his letter to Obama, you can read the outlines he suggests for government change. But what I found exciting was his explaination of the role of the First Lady.
The history of the programs started by the Ladies has really changed the world, starting with Lady Bird Johnson, cleaning up the highways of America, Carters reading program and now Michelle's garden. Michelle is really starting the food revolution, representing how small gardens can change the world.

If you can't buy the books, scroll down as there are many articles available online.





  1. Wow!!! What a great day for everyone involved! Thanks for sharing this.

  2. Ciao, Judy! LOVED this piece and, yes, I am green (-eyed with jealousy!). Am stateside now but will keep in touch. Abbi cura di te. laura

  3. Oh, this sounds like a magical day! Wow! I am so jealous... :)