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Digital Subscriptions > Italia! > Jul 2019 > Sow, Sow, Pick, Pick, Sow

Sow, Sow, Pick, Pick, Sow

Christine Smallwood meets up with Paolo Arrigo and finds out about his deep-rooted connection with the soil
Paolo runs Seeds of Italy in London, the company that imports Franchi Seeds from Bergamo, Italy, to the UK
Images courtesy of Paolo Arrigo

Last spring I rediscovered a book that has been on my shelf for a decade. As I planted some veg seeds in my garden for the first time, From Seed to Plate by Paolo Arrigo was inspiring and valuable reference material. Having failed to inherit my parents’ vibrant green fingers, Paolo’s guiding hand was especially helpful to me because his friendly cultivation advice links growing directly to eating. And I certainly wanted to enjoy the edible rewards of my efforts.

A seedsman, Paolo, through his company, Seeds of Italy, is the importer for Franchi Seeds in Bergamo, which, he happily says is run by the seventh generation of the same family. He talks expansively about how seeds are “literally the most important thing in the world,“ is proud of the ethical credentials of the business and adamant that “for us, it’s food; we are food. We see ourselves as food”.

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About Italia!

This month we embark on our travels to Verona, the beautiful Veneto city immortalised by Shakespeare in his tale of star-crossed lovers. Whether the story of Juliet’s balcony is fact or fiction matters little, as we travel deeper to the city’s heart and its noble Roman heritage. Traditions of another kind are on our mind in Puglia; this time, the culinary variety. It’s a captivating land with its roots firmly in the soil, as you’ll discover. The restful public gardens of Florence are in the spotlight too, while this month’s Fast Culture tells a tale of mistaken identity or Renaissance ‘spin’ that’s not to be missed.