“So our grandchildren will always have something to eat.”
“The bread you eat is attained by the sweat off your brow.”
The First Arrivals
The Piemonte region, at the foot of the Alps in north west Italy, is home to five small towns: Tonco, Villa San Secondo, Frinco, Morgandino and Corsione, in the Province of Asti. They were the hometowns of many of the Central Okanagan’s earliest Italian arrivals.
It started with Giovanni Casorzo, landing in New York, in 1882. He spent the year digging sewers in New York and doing odd jobs in San Francisco before making his way, with Carlo Guaschetti, to Nanaimo, British Columbia. This was a well established gold trail during the second half of the 1800s. From Vancouver Island, the gold trail led to New Westminster, which had been the staging area for those heading up the Fraser Canyon to the Cariboo Gold Fields. By the 1880s, New Westminster was a busy port, as it was also the base for the construction of the British Columbia section of the Canadian Pacific Railway.
It is at New Westminster, in 1883, that Giovanni Casorzo and his friend, Carlo Guaschetti, were contemplating forestry jobs. When, talking in their native Piedmontese language, that they were overheard by Father Coccola. Father Coccola, who had recently arrived from Corsica, was a member of an Oblate Order. Father Coccola introduced Giovanni and Carlo to Father Pandosy, who was running an Oblate Missionary and Ranch in the Okanagan. Father Pandosy sold them on “…the idea of Central Okanagan as the place to spend a happy life and as the spot with the greatest farming potential in the interior of British Columbia. More, the mission would offer Casorzo and his friend, Gauschetti, a living whilst they established themselves agriculturally.” (p16 The Casorso Story)
Giovanni and Carlo both worked for the Missionary fathers, for several years, before establishing their own farms. They both filed pre-emption claims at the intersection of Mission Creek and Casorso Roads. In 1884, Giovanni sent for his wife, Rosa Bevilacqua, and his three children: Carolina, Antonio and Carlo (Charlie).
Numerous fellow countrymen came from Tonco to help Giovanni on his new ranch. Two of these, Carlo and Felicita Balagno, arrived in 1887. Carlo worked for Casorzo before claiming his own preemption in the Duck Lake area. Luigi Rampone was sent for in 1893. He too, soon started his own farm next door to the Mission and the Casorzo properties.
Next on the scene was Giovachino Lanfranco, from Villa San Secondo, who arrived in 1901. On a subsequent trip in1914, he brought with him Pasquale Barrera and Gabriele Quirico. Both Pasquale and Gabriele farmed in close proximity to the Mission.
Luigi Gaspardone, from Corsione, had married Maria, a cousin of Rosa Bevilacqua Casorzo. In 1903, Luigi made his journey to the Okanagan Mission to work on the Casorzo farm. By 1907, his wife, Maria, and children, Camillo and Angelo, joined him.
Following Luigi Rampone, in 1902, were his brother-in-law, Vincenzo Risso (from Morgandino) and spouse Annetta Rampone (from Frinco). In 1904, Vincenzo’s brother, Antonio, made the journey from Frinco, with Luigi’s son, Domenico, and Luigi’s niece, Catarina Dapavo. Both Vincenzo and Antonio Risso started farms near the Mission site.
By 1904, Giuseppe (Josi) Rossi, the first arrival from the Tuscany region, made his appearance in the Okanagan. In 1908, Ulissi and Guglielmo Guidi were here and they sponsored Nicolai Ceresi and Alfredo Biagioni. (1909) In turn, Nicolai Ceresi sponsored Federico Lenzi in 1910 and Palmizio Favali in 1913.
1910 saw Angelo Pioli working his way through the US and eventually landing at the Casorzo farm.
1912 saw the arrival of Samuele Turri and his five amigos: Angelo, Amos and Pietro Guidi, Cesare Bertucci and Carlo Cavanni. They arrived in New York and according to Samuele Turri, on page 136 of ‘An Italian Immigrant Looks Back…’ “After processing by immigration officials ‘The six Immigrants’ boarded a train and that night we entered Canada; we still had six more days and nights before reaching our final destination… On February 17 we steamed into Kelowna aboard the paddle wheeler Okanagan and that night we had a big party to celebrate our arrival. At first I stayed with a dear friend, Nicolai Ceresi…”
Unlike the Piemonte arrivals, the majority of these Tuscan early arrivals were involved with the masonry industry. They were responsible for many of Kelowna’s early buildings, bridges and rail projects. A concentration of families from the Tuscany region was located in the North end of Kelowna, near the train station.
The third northern Italian region to have early immigrants to the Central Okanagan was Udine, which borders Hungary, on the north east coast of Italy. Records show that John But(t) arrived in 1906 and Pasquale Orsi in 1910. Pasquale was followed here by his brother, Egidio Orsi, in 1913. Augusto Ongaro arrived in 1911, Mattia Culos, Fortunato Dal Col and Silvio Vacarro in 1912, and Angelo Martin in 1914. The Udine arrivals were involved with a variety of jobs including masonry, farming and shoe making.
Belgo Work Camp
The Belgo Canadian Fruit and Land Company came into being in 1909. They purchased raw land on the north side of Mission Creek, about eight miles east of Kelowna. Water rights on the north fork of Mission Creek were acquired, thus allowing them to irrigate 600 acres. Ditches, pipes and syphons were needed to distribute this water to the Gallagher / Joe Rich road area. For construction purposes, this area was to become known as No. 1 Camp Site. Next to this area, a small townsite was planned, with a magnificent view overlooking the whole of the central Okanagan area. A crew of Italian immigrants (87 listed on 1911 Census) was hired to do the pick and shovel work and clear the right of way.
The majority of these Italian immigrants arrived in Canada between 1907 and 1911. Only a few family names are still locally recognizable: Fabris, Cristante, Francescutti, Bertuzzi, Rossi, Cacchioni, Constantini, Pioli, Culos, Dal Col, Alimonti, Pazzuto and Morello.
Two of the Belgo Camp workers, Pasquale Alimonti and Louis Constantini, were from the Abruzzo region of Italy. They had met each other in 1904, in Philadelphia, while working on railway construction. Following a 1914 railway project near Princeton, they made their way back to Kelowna and started farms in the Rutland and Ellison areas. Also from Abruzzo were Ambrogio Ciaccia, 1902, Ulderico Ciancone, 1909 and Carmine Rantucci, 1910.
Many Italian immigrants worked in the mining or service industries in the Kootenays, before making their way to the Okanagan. Antonio Sprovieri and Girolamo Arcuri immigrated in 1888, Anna Mussato and Peter Mattioda in 1905, Pasquale (Cap) Capozzi in 1907, Lorenzo Siviglia in 1908, John Reorda and Egisto Bigattini in 1909, Phillip Pugliese and Michele Vecchio in 1910, Santo Giordano in 1911 and Cesare Butticci in 1914. “Thousands of “foreigners” in the eastern United States heard that Fernie was the Pittsburg of Canada. A dubious claim to fame, perhaps, but a signal that there were plenty of jobs mining coal, sawing logs and building more railways in the Elk River Valley.” (Lynne Bowen Page, 112)
Kettle Valley Railway
Similar to the Belgo Canadian Work Camp in 1911, the Kettle Valley Railway operated construction camps from 1912 to 1914. Some of our early immigrants were involved with the construction, and remained in Kelowna following its completion. Included are Ippolito Pioli, Palmizio Favali, Angelo Martin, Ernesto Bianco, Pasquale and Joseph Alimonti, Louis Constantini, John Reorda, Jack Butticci and Samuele Turri. In the early 1900’s, labour agents, or padroni, were instrumental in recruiting Italian workers. It was not unusual for padroni to operate in Italian, American and Canadian cities that were very near to harbours. Lynne Bowen in her book ‘Whoever Gives Us Bread’, (pp 182-183) states “Italian masons specialized in mortarless rock construction, which is visible not only in the stone abutments of the trestles but also in the walls that support the railway bed… No other ethnic group could match the special rock-working skills they had acquired, building houses, terraces, roads, tunnels and trestles in their mountainous homeland…. The existence of rock ovens at these sites seems proof of an Italian presence.”
There are very few records of this Italian workforce. Lynne Bowen states: “Of the hundreds of Italians who built the KVR from Penticton to Hydraulic Summit, only the dead are known by name, and then only in government death records. Newspapers did not identify these men by name. It was enough to call them “Italians” when they died or ran afoul of the law… (page 184). “…many of them found jobs as navies on railway construction projects. Large gangs of Italian Sojourners would become essential to the building of Canadian railways, but it was not until the first transcontinental CPR line was nearing completion that Italian labour made an appearance in contemporary accounts.” (Page 88)
The arrival of Italian families prior to 1920 is quite linear compared to those arriving later. In the 1920s the children of a number of Kelowna families began to intermarry. Catarina Dapavo married Louis Casorso; Rosa Dapavo married Giovachino Lanfranco; Maria Dapavo married Samuele Turri and Davide (Dino) Dapavo married Rosa Gaspardone. Pasquale Alimonti’s son, Joseph, married Rosa Culos; daughter Francesca married Pasquale Barrera; and daughter Lucia married Louis Constantini. Mattia Culos married Cestilia Bazzana; Giovachino Culos married Stella Fabris. These intermarriages began to cross the native Italian region borders of Piemonte, Tuscany and Udine. It was another step forward in the integration of the Italian families into Kelowna’s culture. It has been said that the Italian families in Kelowna were more united than those in Italy, which had only become united as one country in 1861.
Life in Italy
For many, life in Italy was one of poverty. Lynne Bowen in ‘Whoever Gives Us Bread’ describes a young girl, Maria, that “…would search the alleyways of Castelsilano for bits of cloth, glass, twigs and metal. It was all reusable. “Everything was so precious.” She goes on to say: “For northerners, their land was “rich in everything but opportunity.” There were far more farmers than could make a living on the land. …like so many before, had grown up believing that the only solution to the problem lay on leaving Italy. “Emigration was in their history and in their hearts.” (P 262)
An article on the Italian Diaspora (mass emigration) from Wikipedia.org states that: “The first diaspora of Italians began around 1880 with the rise of Fascist Italy. Poverty was the main reason for this diaspora, specifically the lack of land as property became subdivided over generations. Especially in Southern Italy, conditions were harsh. Until the 1860s, most of Italy was a rural society with many small towns and cities and almost no modern industry in which land management practices, especially in the south and the north-east, did not easily convince farmers to stay on the land and to work the soil. Another factor was related to the overpopulation of Southern Italy after the improvements in socioeconomic conditions after the Unification. That created a demographic boom and forced the new generations to emigrate en masse in the late 19th century and the early 20th century, mostly to the Americas. The new migration of capital created millions of unskilled jobs around the world and was responsible for the simultaneous mass migration of Italians searching for ‘work and bread’.” (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Italian_diaspora)
Contadini: Self sufficiency
In her book “From Sojourners to Citizens, Alberta’s Italian History”, Adrianna Davies describes the Italian situation as: “The majority of the land was held by landowners who made use of ‘contadini’, labourers or sharecroppers, who lived in conditions similar to medieval serfs, and who would never aspire to ownership. Where land was held by ordinary families, inheritance reduced plots to such a diminutives size that families could not be supported on the crops and animals raised.” (Page 118)
While living in these humble conditions, our ancestors showed that they were, to a great extent, self sufficient. They lived with, and off, the land. Many of them were listed on birth marriage and death records as ‘contadini’. The exact translation of ‘contadini’ defies a one word description. Its basic definition is ‘peasant farmer’. Some definitions indicate they were ‘share croppers’, living and working on land owned by someone else. They made their living by sharing the proceeds of the crops being grown. Others owned a small piece of land and worked at other local farms, businesses or trades. Most did not have a single occupation, rather they worked many jobs as the season dictated.
But it goes further than this. ‘Contadini’ can also be considered to be ‘self sufficient farmers’. Most were able to grow much of their own food and grapes for wine making. They raised animals, made their own butter and cheese, did their own butchering and cured their own meats. They hunted and they fished. Foraging the lands around them they found berries, chestnuts, dandelions, mushrooms, chicory and asparagus. They raised their own sheep giving them milk, meat and wool. Spinning and weaving were common household activities. In their attics they raised silk worms and sold the silk to local weavers. They made most of their own clothes, blankets and linens. They gathered branches, wood and pine cones to fuel their fires, weave baskets and fuel their cooking stoves. Their parents and community members taught them to work with wood and stone to build their own houses. They were able to work with leather to make their own shoes and harnesses for their work animals. Operating a community metal forge allowed them to craft their own simple tools.
Lynne Bowen, in “Whoever Gives Us Bread,” describes their life as “With a garden behind each house and a barn next door to stable a cow, some chickens and two pigs, each family raised everything they needed for a balanced diet, albeit one with little variety” (Page 2)
Trading and bartering with others in their small towns, allowed them to share their talents. Working for others earned them some funds to buy coffee, sugar and goods they could not make or trade. Compared to today’s standards, they were extremely self sufficient. The concepts of self sufficiency and living with the land was brought with them to America and it would serve them well.
Due to poor economic conditions in Italy for many generations, Italian men were forced to become ‘sojourners’. A sojourner is a person who resides temporarily in a place for the purpose of work. Often they found themselves mining in Belgium, France or Germany. Even those working the land would spend the winters, away from their families, at industrial camps. It was all part of being able to support their families. Most of the earliest immigrants to America, were men who left their families in Italy, with the intention of making some money and soon returning. Many of these early arrivals made more than one such trip before deciding to return to Italy or send for their families.
Adrianna Davies describes the situation: “The vast majority of immigrants, however, were ordinary men who wanted to improve the lot of their families by seeking work abroad, making money and returning to create a better life in Italy. They were known as ‘sojourners’ or ‘birds of passage.’ While some labourers (the designation for unskilled day labourer in Italian passports was ‘bracciante’) went to France, Germany, Switzerland, the Austro-Hungarian Empire and North Africa, the lure of North America was strong. While many Italians immigrated to South America, by the latter half of the nineteenth century the United States and, later Canada, became preferred destinations. The building of transcontinental railways and urban infrastructure as well as opening of mines promised work and prosperity for all.” (Page 14).
Lynne Bowen adds “Many families in the past century and a half could tell a similar one (story): unable to earn enough to feed his children and aging parents, the father leaves Italy to find work so that he can send money home. He goes to Europe for several months each year, or to North or South America or to Australia where he had brothers, cousins or townspeople. He works at whatever job he can find - usually one requiring a strong back, a job at the bottom of the ladder. He may return home on occasion, often leaving his wife pregnant after each visit, or his family may join him eventually in the new country.” (page 4)
Life In Kelowna
Those immigrants who decided to stay in Kelowna, kept with them, their work ethic from Italy. They worked hard, respected the land and lived modestly. For several years they would lease land which they farmed in the summer months and moved off to sawmills, railway, road construction and mining camps during the winter. They became cooks at boarding houses and ranches. They worked at any and all types of manual labour jobs. Living in boarding homes, or small one and two room houses, was the norm. They lived without electricity, indoor plumbing or running water. Self sufficiency was again valued. They grew extensive gardens, raised animals, hunted and fished and lived hand in hand with the land. Laundry was taken in, bread was baked for bachelors and housecleaning services were provided.
Within in a relatively short period of time they were able to acquire their own farms or small acreages. Those not into farming became involved in trades such as brick work and masonry. They took in boarders or new immigrants. Even after becoming well established, they continued their self sufficiency life style. Their close relationship with the land was one of the fundamental reasons the early Italians in Kelowna were unlike those in other parts of Canada.
The Pandosy Mission
The Immaculate Conception Mission (Pandosy Mission) was the centre of the early Italian’s life in Kelowna, ever since 1883, when Giovanni Casorzo and Carlo Guaschetti made their journey here with Father Pandosy. The Mission was run by the French speaking Oblate Fathers. It attracted many other French speaking families to the area: William Pion, Cyprian and Theodore Laurence, Bernard Lequime, August Gillard, Jules Blonde, France Ourtoland, August Calmels and Joseph Christien.
The earliest arriving Italian families settled in farms in close proximity to the Mission. The Mission provided employment and they ran the Church, both being a very important part of their lives. Integration of their language and cultures became a matter of survival. They very quickly became well versed in English. Both Giovanni Casorzo and Carlo Gauschetti “…agreed to work for the mission for six years and, in return, the missionaries would help each to establish a homestead. The pay was $15 per month, plus board. Hours of work stretched from 6 am to 6 pm - longer when necessary.” (page 17 the Casorso Story)
Bringing Christianity to our First Nations peoples of the Okanagan was the goal of the Mission. A very close relationship was established between the First Nations people and the early settlers.
“Father Pandosy said that the country to which they were going was an Indian paradise called the Okanagan - a valley of big heads carved by Nature on the mountains. ‘There’s Nature’s etching of an Indian maiden asleep on a mountain top gazing at the stars. If you take time to study the valley, its legends and its people, there will be much to interest you,’ the missionary promised.” (Page 17 The Casorso Story)
During Giovanni’s first six years at the Mission, he was a cook, ranch hand, cowboy, carpenter, teamster and packer. His goal was to learn all he could about Canada’s land, climate and agriculture. He lived closely and learned about the First Nations peoples and acted as an unofficial agent between them and the Mission. Rosa Casorso was told “You will have to make everything you wear from animal skins, or what you can fashion with wool. The food you eat first has to be gathered or hunted, then preserved…. You will see and deal with many Indians… you will also have to learn to speak Chinook and English. It’s a case of survival, said Giovanni Casorzo.” (Page 48, The Casorso Story)
During the 30s and 40s, most of the Italian farms relied on a close relationship with at least one Japanese family who worked on a share crop basis with them. These families lived on the farms and, like their Italian share partners, lived frugal lives. They were equally, quite self sufficient. Also helping on the farms, were newly arrived Italian immigrants. Many of them were granted their status, provided they worked for one year as a farm worker. After the year was up, many of them left the farms, brought their families over and went on to their chosen occupation.
By 1930, members of the local Italian community got together, pledged $25 each and formed the Italian Community Club, ‘Pendozi District’. Elected officials included: President Camilo Rampone, Vice President: Edoardo Quirico, Secretary: Gino Bazzana, Treasurer: Gaspar Risso and Directors: Giuseppe Alimonti and Samuele Turri. Letters of application included ones from: Johnnie B Casorso, Mattia Culos, Vincenzo Risso, N Peter Casorso, Antonio Borgnetta, Giovachino Lanfranco, Dominico Lanfranco, Augusto Ongaro, Domenico Rampone, Ernesto Bianco, David Culos, Pasquale Barrera and Angelo Martin. Other early members were Gundo Risso, Louie Casorso and Antonio Risso.
Using mostly volunteer labour, they built a hall at the corner of Casorso and Gordon Roads. A record was kept of the hours volunteered and credits were made towards future dues. Members came from a variety of occupations and locations around Kelowna. Invoices for the club show they supported most of the businesses in Kelowna and hired non Italian trades when needed. This is another example of how our early Italian families were well integrated into their new culture. The club was active in promoting community volunteer work such as the construction of the east side road to Naramata. Several stories of their successes and tragedies were reported in the local newspapers. In 1938, Agostino Cacchioni and friend, Vittorio Martinato, were on their way to do some blasting work, when a terrible vehicle accident took Vittorio’s life. (Kelowna Courier, August 11, 1938)
Living with the land
Depression years, and the subsequent war time years, were definite tests of survival skills. Rationing, unavailable goods, and job shortages were faced by all, but perhaps for the Italian families that were accustomed to living with the land, it had less effect. For most farmers, living with the land also meant living with the seasons. Labour was never factored into costs. Their dawn to dusk activities were all part of their daily life that led to self sufficiency. This was also true for most of Kelowna’s Italian families, even those in trades and businesses.
Plastics, disposable and convenience items were generally not part of their lives. As a result ‘garbage’ was almost non existent. Their scant resources were reused or refashioned into something new. Flour and sugar sacks were made into diapers, pillow cases and towels. Small pieces of cloth were used to wrap food and to make small bags for carrying goods. Clothing, hung up outside to dry, lasted much longer than those put in a drier. When it was outgrown or had parts worn out, it was altered and refashioned as hand me downs. Those that were beyond repair were cut up for braided or hooked rugs, blankets and rags. Drawstrings and hems were cut off and used as small ropes in the house and garden. European wedding dresses were dark blue or black, so with minimum altering were able to be used for everyday wear. Even after white wedding dresses became the style, they were often dyed and used for other special occasions. Many were made into christening gowns for the newly born offspring.
Food scraps went into a slop bucket, that became food for the chickens and pigs. Bones and meat scraps became stews and soups. Tin cans and glass jars were used many times over before they became eventually unfit for use. Paper was used to light fires and, the ashes from the stoves and furnaces, were essential for the out houses. Ashes were also used for the production of soap.
All sorts of fruit and vegetables were grown. Left over vegetative matter and manure were put back into the land to fertilize next year’s crops. Crops were harvested, dried or preserved and stored for winter use. Food was eaten in season, based on what was grown that year. Growing their own grain gave them bread and pasta. Their cows, goats, sheep and chickens gave them an uninterrupted supply of meats, eggs, butter, cheese and wool. Cows grazed on roadsides during the day so that the pastures could be kept for night use. They foraged the surrounding lands for chicory, mushrooms, asparagus and dandelions. Hunting, fishing and trapping were important to their survival. With their gains they cured their own meats and made their own sausages.
At times, the seemingly self sufficiency, and living at ‘no apparent cost’ made Italians the object of jealousy by the non Europeans. There are many newspaper accounts of them being brought before the law for hunting out of season, fishing with a gaff rather than line and hook, or for trapping rabbits. More often than not, after an explanation that all were for their survival, their cases were thrown out of court.
Each fall, work parties collected wood from the nearby forests to fuel their cooking stoves and furnaces. Fence posts and beanpoles were made from trees collected during the winter. Furniture was often handmade from packing crates or used lumber. Grasses, reeds and canes were harvested and woven into seats for chairs or baskets for food storage. Willow twigs, instead of twine, were used to tie up their grapes and other crops.
Fascism and World War II
The rise of Fascism in Italy during the 20s and 30s was an unsettling time for the Kelowna Italians. In 1922, Mussolini became Prime Minister of Italy. Canada was quite supportive of Mussolini’s programs to revitalize Italy. One of the programs was to encourage a second wave of emigration to Canada. At the same time, Canada was encouraging the establishment of agricultural settlement. “In 1923, Italia Garibaldi, the granddaughter of Giuseppe Garibaldi, visited Canada to promote the formation of Italian agricultural colonies… In 1924, following on the high of her visit, fascia (Fascist locals) were set up in Edmonton, Calgary, Lethbridge and Venice.” (Page 23, From Sojourners To Citizens)
In the 20s, Kelowna was already a well established Italian settlement, so Italia concentrated her efforts in Alberta. By the 30s, Italian consuls in Canada had started Fascist organizations in Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver. One of their objectives was to raise funds to support the Italian government. A pact signed between Hitler and Mussolini, led to the attack on Ethiopia in 1935 and Albania in 1939. By 1940, when Italy declared war on Britain, local Italians found themselves caught between two worlds. Even though many of them had enlisted, and were fighting with the Canadian and British forces, they were treated with suspicion.
To alleviate the suspicions, the Kelowna Italian Community Hall suspended operations. They supported rationing programs and collected their dimes and nickels to “Sink the Subs”, with the realization that it could be some of their Italian families on those same subs. At the same time (1944-1947), a program to honour 25th wedding anniversaries saw many couples honoured with silver trays from the Canadian Italian Colony of Kelowna. Perhaps this was a last ditch effort to sway the alliances of our well integrated local Italian families.
When Prime Minister W L Mackenzie King invoked the War Measures Act, the RCMP identified approximately 600 Canadians of Italian descent with ties to Fascist groups. They were arrested and interned at a camp in Kananaskis, Alberta and later transferred to Petawawa, Ontario. It is not surprising that there were no local Italians arrested.
Third wave of immigration
Post World War II brought on a new wave of Italian immigrants. They came from all parts of Italy but those from Southern Italy (Calabria) predominated. Southern Italians were facing much more difficult economic times than those from the more industrialized northern regions. Unlike the first wave of immigration, at the turn of the century, many of the immigrants in the 1950s were skilled workers. Many of them had unpleasant experiences during World War II. Stories of German troops living in their homes, are hard to shake. But, like their earlier counterparts, they retained a strong work ethic.
They often took jobs away from their homes - at mines, sawmills and construction camps. Their spouses and children took in cleaning, laundry and sewing jobs. The women ran boarding homes and the children worked weekends and breaks in orchards, vineyards, mills, dairy operations and farms. For many of them, their goal was to acquire a small piece of land so they could follow their family traditions of growing grapes, making wine, growing fruit and vegetables and raising animals so they could make their own sausages and cure their own meats.
Living with the land (or living off the yard, Lynne Bowen, page 286) was important to our early Italian immigrants. It was not just a matter of economics, it was what daily living was all about; it was the right thing to do. It gave them immense satisfaction, that they knew where their food came from and what was in it. To this day, many families still gather to forage for mushrooms, make tomato sauce and stomp the grapes at Vendemmias.