Broccoli “spiert”(wild): the biodiversity of our fields

Casa Iuorio’s broccoli wild.

Broccoli “spiert” are the seasonal vegetables that the nature lets grow during this period. It’s a traditional broccoli ecotype that we have always cultivated in our family farm. Our grandparents, and their parents even before, cultivated them and we learned to appreciate them in traditional recipes.

The term “spiert” encloses the whole meaning of this cultivation. From the dialect of the Alta Valle del Sele it can be translated as spontaneous, wild to indicate that this broccoli is a natural fruit of our land. Probably at the beginning it was not cultivated, it grew naturally in the fields. Then someone decided to save the seeds and so began to cultivate it in a regular way.

In our farm, Casa Iuorio, we decided to safeguard this broccoli ecotype from the risk of extinction and we continue cultivating it. Also to valorise the biodiversity of our geographical area. We sow it autumn in the first days of October. The harvest, handmade, starts in January and continues until beginning of April.

Broccoli plants have a full-bodied central part, well protected by large and dark green leaves. We harvest only the inflorescence of this plant but also some of its softest leaves.

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Where broccoli “spiert” are produced

Our farm Casa Iuorio is situated in Palomonte, in the Alta Valle del Sele territory, south of the Salerno province. The valley is characterized by the river Sele, a very rich ecosystem and the Alburni Mountains, very high peaks that in this period are whitened by snow.

Our fields are located in an uncontaminated landscape. Yields are prepared in open field, in full respect of the season and the environment.

Our broccoli cultivated in open field.

Our broccoli cultivated in open field.

Casa Iuorio’s broccoli.

Casa Iuorio’s Broccoli.

Bees on our broccoli flowers.

Bees on our broccoli flowers.