We choose as our favourite place any grand vegetable garden in the world, and the philosophy behind it. From now on, we will spread the news that in Tanzania, East Africa, next to the world wonder called Ngorongoro crater, there is a grand vegetable garden one could admire for days. It is a peaceful hill, on which develops the daily life of an industrious, authentic, wise farm. A tropical farm with a slope covered by coffee plantations – its beans red and ripe – on one side, and a geometry of cultivated clods on the other, and with green gardener boots. A vegetable encyclopaedia, imaginative and exhaustive. Farmers will test you on the names of those green carpets and their fruits and you, as a novice vegetarian and an eternal gourmand, will know them in your native tongue. Masai guides will teach you how to recognize medicinal herbs during a walk in the adjacent forest. If you want, you can milk cows in the cattle shed at 8.30, after having taken out of the oven the 6.30 bread, and soon before roasting your coffee beans. It will all end up on your table, since 90% of what is produced here is also served here. Everything happens with the light-heartedness of a natural life that reminds you of a tale, of an abundant summer harvest, of the knowledge of what is food and what is medicine, and of an African open-air lesson. Cottage Shamba (the Swahili word for ‘farm’) is everybody’s favourite, while The Writers could become our temporary artist-residence.
Words and photos Paola Corini. Translation Alessia Andriolo.