110 acre historic farm in its own valley located at Borgo Monticole, Le Marche, Italy.
Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Carbon Farming, Forest Garden.
Its been a long time coming but our extra virgin olive oil from this year's harvest is now available to pre-order online. Oil will be shipped end of May. Click the product links below to find out more!
Carbon Farming & Permaculture
Airlines say 'click this button to offset your carbon emissions' but often this just means planting a fir tree and destroying biodiversity in the process. Instead, our Carbon Farming project allows you to invest in planting a local tree varieties that will sink carbon while increasing biodiversity and maintaining the historic significance of an old Italian farm.
While we're just getting started, in our first two years alone we've already planted over 2,000 trees of local ancient varieties and 600 vines of local ancient varieties and built two zero-fuel and zero-solar natural water pumps to pump rainwater back up onto our land and the land of a neighbouring small-scale farmer, keeping the new trees alive.
Our goal is to build on Le Marche's existing agro-diverse culture of small-holder farming. We want to see the region become a global leader in regenerative agriculture, guided by four key principles:
(1) increasing soil fertility,
(2) protecting biodiversity,
(3) prioritising water retention and cleanliness,
(4) promoting soil carbon sequestration.
In summer 2021, aged 25 and 27, we decided to up sticks and buy a ruined farm in Italy. Leaving hopes of academic careers behind us, we begun dedicating our time to restoring a valley that had lain abandoned for more than half a decade. Caring for our ancient olive trees, dipping our toes into viticulture and animal husbandry, rediscovering ancient farming practices, and restoring the main farm house and outbuildings have been the mainstays of our first year here. We look forward to sharing the journey with you!
Jerry & Lucie
Help! We Bought a Village, Channel 4
In 2022 we started filming for a new Channel 4 series. The programme follows our journey restoring the farm and nearby hamlet, Borgo Monticole. As well as the fun and foibles of running a farm with no prior experience, you'll learn more about the history of the valley, and meet our neighbours and friends with (sometimes strongly-worded) opinions of their own on the project.
We're so chuffed that our project has sparked people's interest following the show's release. If you want to read more about how the whole project got underway do checkout our interviews for The Times and The Daily Mail. You can also keep following our journey on the farm by watching us on YouTube, and of course by following us on Instagram.
When we first went house hunting in Le Marche, we knew nothing about olives. We had to learn quickly when we realised the farm we bought had 70 ancient olive trees, a mix of Orbetana, Piantone, and Raggia cultivars.
Though the trees are between 150 and 400 years old, 2021 was their first harvest in 30 years. This meant each tree was using its energy to bear a small quantity of fruit. An exceptionally dry summer further concentrated energy (not water) into our olives, giving a yield of just 10% but a uniquely high-quality oil.
We picked all our olives by hand over a three-week period in October. This 'early harvest' process produces an oil high in oleic acid keeping it fresher for longer, exceptionally low in free fatty acid (FFA) a testament to the quality and integrity of the fruit at the time of press, and unusually high in polyphenols, a class of strong antioxidants responsible for olive oil's famous health benefits. The result is a bright green, bitter, nutty, and robust oil that we're so proud of.
ancient olive trees
kilos of olives
litres of oil