picking blood oranges in Sicily


Our friend Lorrie owns a beautiful farm about 20 minutes from us, and she’s been telling us for ages to come bring the kids, pet the horses, and pick some oranges. Last Saturday we were down to our last blood orange, and so we decided to re-stock by picking our own!

The outing started with a dazzlingly beautiful drive. We drank in the view: lush green fields of artichokes and oranges, fields of neon yellow flowers and new almond blossoms, bubble gum-pink and cerulean-blue homes set like jewels in green velvet, and snowy Mt Etna presiding over it all. I took a deep breath and relaxed.



Once on the farm, we picnicked… or rather the kids ran to the swings and so we attempted to feed them as they swung! Messy but successful. Later we picked oranges and then visited the many animals on Lorrie’s farm: horses, dogs, chickens, goats, and a gigantic pig. Such a beautiful afternoon in our rural island home!





“Soooo bloody!” says Lena.




Gil kept himself busy taking out every orange we put in and throwing each with all his strength about 6 inches away.



I love the sunkissed look of a blood orange!



Finding ladybugs for Lena to admire and Gil to… maul.




Feeding the goats! We all want our own someday so that (among other reasons) we can make our own goat cheese instead of buying it almost every week. (We all LOVE goat cheese.) However, a friend told me that goat cheese starts to smell like dirty goats when you’re around them a lot… so am I willing to give up my love of goat cheese in order to own a few goats? Well… I think so!

Would you ever like to have goats? Or chickens?

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26 Responses to picking blood oranges in Sicily

  1. Alica February 12, 2014 at 3:44 pm #

    The pictures of the countryside are just beautiful! The horses in the field, against that sky are like a post card. As for goats…they are lots of fun! Jenna has raised 4-H goats for several years, and boy do they have personality and spunk! Just make sure you get more than one…they don’t like to be alone! It will be fun to see where you guys end up some day…hopefully you’ll still be blogging and we’ll all get to go along for the ride! And as you would expect, I’d say that chickens are very much worth it. There’s nothing like having your own fresh eggs, and some extra to sell or share. :)

    • Becca February 13, 2014 at 8:35 pm #

      Alica, I’ll be sure to ask you whenever we get started with our goats and chickens! Elliott raised chickens as a boy and had a fresh egg business, too. He made a healthy profit in the car pool line!

    • Myca January 11, 2017 at 8:59 am #

      Hello! My husband and I are traveling to Sicilia this April. Would you have suggestions of farms or other orange groves that would welcome us for a tour or a day of education. We really are only going to experience the blood orange!

  2. Abby February 12, 2014 at 8:39 pm #

    Yes! Goats and chickens…all of the above. I think starting with chickens would be the easiest. Would love pointers if you have any! Thanks for sharing the pictures. The blood oranges are just starting arrive in our markets here in Jersey and I am so thankful. Enjoy your remaining time there. It looks just beautiful.

    • Becca February 13, 2014 at 8:35 pm #

      We almost started with chickens here on our balcony because Elliott wanted some silkies so much! I couldn’t imagine that it would be fun for the chickens or for us, especially in the heat and sometimes extreme winter storms, so I said no for now. We’d both like to as soon as we can, though!

  3. Francesco Giossi February 13, 2014 at 2:49 pm #

    Hi Becca!
    What a beautiful website you have! Very beautiful pictures and a general feeling of relax! WOW!
    In my eyes is very funny to feel that you like Italy more than the most of the italians I know!

    • Becca February 13, 2014 at 8:34 pm #

      Haha, Francesco, I’m not sure about that! But we only have three years to live here — not a lifetime — so I am sure that makes us appreciate it more. Thank you so much for stopping by!

  4. Sarah February 14, 2014 at 8:44 pm #

    Gorgeous photos. What a lovely afternoon to have captured. I have always told my husband I wanted a goat – their personalities, abilities to consume all things including tin cans, and promise of milk/cheese always hooked me, too! Unfortunately, my 2 year old is a bit nervous around them…

    • Becca February 19, 2014 at 6:57 pm #

      Thank you, Sarah! I’m hoping our kids won’t be too nervous when the time comes… I’ll need their help!

  5. Maggy February 16, 2014 at 11:36 am #

    oh how I wish I could smell them too! Perhaps I should send you some Jaffa oranges as well!

    • Becca February 19, 2014 at 6:57 pm #

      You’re so kind, Maggy. I wish I could eat some Israeli produce with you, too!

  6. Anna February 19, 2014 at 5:54 pm #

    I love the photo of Elliot and Lena under orange tree. There is something, not sure what on it a- mix of innocence and paternal love that is heartwarning. Saluti :)

  7. Becca February 19, 2014 at 6:57 pm #

    Grazie, Anna! I love that photo too.

  8. Katie @ The Surly Housewife February 26, 2014 at 9:48 pm #

    What a beautiful day you have shared. The horses or ponies are just adorable! I’m a huge goat cheese fan myself. One of these days we will have some chickens. A couple of ladies in our homeschool group have them so I have advice on how to do it now!

    • Becca February 27, 2014 at 8:58 am #

      I don’t think we’ll get to have chickens at our next duty station, unfortunately, but maybe after that? We’ll see!

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