Pick-your-own fruit farms are practically non-existent in Italy as the concept hasn’t caught on like it has in the states and elsewhere in Europe. PYO? The mention of it prompted a why from MotH, because why would anyone go through the trouble when weekly markets offer the best of what’s in season and all in one convenient location?
The only explanation I could think of was that well, collecting your own fruit is great fun, and perhaps for this reason is why an italian apple grower in Vedeseta hatched the idea to give visitors the unique opportunity to connect with nature while picking the fruits of his labor. With the goal of implementing organic farming methods in order to offer a small variety of wholesome foods that are good for your health, Virginio Rota (that’s him on the right), along with 3 associates, founded Manterga agricultural cooperative. Wholewheat pasta made from organic flour, cookies and jams without the addition of preservatives – these are a few items that were on display in their village shop headquarters. Peak apple season is still a few weeks away but the Galaxy apples were ready the Sunday we dropped in. I had read that weekends are when people usually stop by, and you can also buy fruit that has already been gathered.
Shop location: Via Centro 3, Vedeseta
Apple farm: at Località San Michèi, about 550 meters from the village center, on the way up to Reggetto (that wooden sign above will be on the right and a roughly-hewn stone building to the left). Other seasonal produce also on offer. We paid only 1€/kilo for the apples!
Local cheeses: S. Antonio cooperative makes taleggio and strachitunt, but they also carry other cheese products from the valley. A little over a kilometer past the apple farm.