A typical Tuscan farm will combine olive groves and vineyards with fields of maize and barley to feed the cattle and chickens.
Tuscany is rich in wildlife, especially flowers and the insects that feed on them, including bees, crickets, cicadas and grasshoppers, whose song is heard during the summer months. For years Tuscan farmers were too poor to afford modem intensive agricultural methods, so the region was, until recently, still farmed by traditional methods. As a result, rural areas have remained relatively unspoiled, a safe haven for many species of animal and fauna – with the exception of the songbird, which has fallen victim to the Tuscan passion for hunting.
The clay landscape south of Siena is one of bare hillocks and ravines, denuded of topsoil by heavy rain.
Building on hilltops ensures a cooling wind in summer.
The flame-shaped cypress is often planted as a windbreak infields and along roadsides.
Much of this region is an unspoilt national park where deer. boar, martens and eagles are protected.
Many families make their own wine and every spare plot is planted with vines.
The olive tree with its silver-backed leaves is widely cultivated. Many farms sell home-produced olive oil.
Tlje green lizard feeds on grasshoppers and basks on walls in the sunlight.
Wild boars are abundant but very shy as they are hunted for their tasty meat.
The blue chicory plant flowers all summer and is used as animal fodder.
Pink, white and red
flowering mallows are a valuable food plant for bees.
The blood-red poppy often grows alongside bright white oxeye daisies.
The almond-scented bindweed attracts a variety of different insects.
Tuscan Farmland Photo Gallery
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