23 Mar Getting serious in spontaneous herbs picking! – A picking-tour through Le Marche fields

picus-post-icon-wildlifeSeems that finally first bursts of spring are making their way in our Italian middle-earth!

We are winter-addicted but beside snow, it’s a fact that colors and warm breezes always melt the heart! Plus: it’s the perfect season for Picus expeditions! First stop: an outing to Le Marche countryside looking for spontaneous herbs!


As grass picking is a serious thing around here, whose secrets and habits has been passed on generations, we called an expert! Meet Elda: 80-something years old & super sprint granny raised up during the Second World War in San Paterniano (Ancona), when grass picking did not mean just fun and health but was sometimes the only remedy against poverty. ”Especially in a country family with 5 daughters” she pointed out.

italian grandma picking herbs

So we have the expert but we actually do not know where to start!

Unless you do not have a favourite secret field, the first step is wandering and wandering looking for an abandoned or uncultivated field, perfect environment for spontaneous grasses’ growth (also because there are no pesticides).

Otherwise, you can take advantage for next year buying some seeds and spreading them in your field or garden….next year you will have an amazing & natural harvest! As this plants are spontaneous you do not even need to cultivate them, just sow the seeds accidentally and leave some of plants flowering, that’s all!

Of course for us the field’s quest is part of the fun! Along with the straw hat!

pick herbs up le marche italy


Consider that not in all fields you can find the same herbs: there are some kinds we did not find in our picking-tour as for example the borage or “Borragine” (but this is just a great excuse for making a second round! :) )

So here is what we had in our baskets at the end of the day and a brief guide on how-to-recognize these wild herbs:

spontaneous herbs le marche italy

Elda also gave us her mother’s favourite recipe with these spontaneous plants…so make sure you’ll be here for our next cooking-post!


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