Herbaria at Abbadia di Fiastra, Macerata Le Marche
Saturday morning I went to the Herbaria (Secrets and magic of the natural world) at the Abbadia di Fiastra. The theme was "equilibrio in tutti i sensi" or "equilibrium in all the senses". Set in the gorgeous grounds of the abbey, there was music; talks on the environment, healthy food, theology; flowers on display; lots of stands all under one huge tent, where one could buy anything from food products such artisan-made cheeses, chocolate, olive oil, truffles, biscuits and pasta to the non-edible such as clothing from naturally died & woven material, "green" shoes, hand-made woven string & leather bags, straw hats...and lots more.
I stopped by a stand selling everything made from mint - essential oil, dried mint, syrups made from mint, minted sugar, mint chocolate (which was yummy!). The sales girl was excellent - offering me a sample of minted sugar and telling me all about the mint oil and its many excellent properties. Turns out she was only 13, at the Herbaria with her mother, the family has fields of mint in Piedmont and a shop where they sell all the products. I asked her if she wanted to work with the family business (ESSENZIALMENTA) and she assured me enthusiaistically that she did! She was a delight. Just sorry I managed to cut the top off her head in my photo.....