Under The Tuscan Sun

by Andrew Stein

As I knew I would be traveling to Tuscany to work on a vineyard, I felt it was appropriate to read Frances Mayes’ book “Under The Tuscan Sun.” Mayes, between her descriptions of buying, renovating, and living in an abandoned house, describes her experiences of working in the garden and dealing with the locals. Most of the book was a bit flowery for my taste; however, as I did have grounds to relate to it, I made it through the more ornate descriptions of the food and the land. In addition, for a bit of advice in working on a vineyard, I found the below quote:

“Besides the practical, a host of enduring superstitions determine the best moment to pick or plant; the moon has bad days and good. Vergil, a long time ago, observed farmers’ beliefs: Choose the seventeenth day after the full moon to plant, avoid the fifth. He also advises scything at night, when dew softens the stubble.”