L'informazione agroalimentare in Umbria

#FoodFiction: A Hard Life

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Questo racconto è il risultato della collaborazione tra SapereFood e Umbra Institute. Dopo aver visitato alcune importanti aziende della regione, gli studenti hanno scritto delle storie di fantasia sperimentando il “product placement”, ovvero l’inserimento di un marchio all’interno della narrazione.

by Jonathan MaislinInspired by a visit to Fattoria Luchetti

It may not be the best life, but it is my life. On average, I work about 15 hours a day, and it isn’t any of that frilly deskwork. I’m out there every morning, up before the sun, feeding all the dumb cows, dealing with the deafening squeals of the pigs, plugging my nose as I get close to the horses. No matter how majestic they may look in movies, no one ever wants to accurately show how terrible horses smell (especially how much they crap out, let me tell you).  I wear the same heavy boots, thick, plaid shirt, and work jeans every single day. No, not the same exact pair, I’m a farmer, not a barbarian. Well, I guess it depends whom you ask. My wife, Rosalina, she always says, “Marco, take your boots off the counter. Just because you provide for the family doesn’t mean you get to act like a barbarian all the time.” I know, kind of harsh, but she’s right. Maybe I should start putting my boots in the closet. I mean, I do use the same boots, but those are my shoes. Everyone does that, right? You know what, I will definitely think really hard about that and not fall back on the ‘old dogs don’t learn new tricks’ argument I have successfully used for the last 20 years. Yeah, sorry…I am kind of nervous. I don’t typically do well talking about myself.

If it isn’t obvious, let me take you to the next level of obviousness, I love my life. Ha, gotcha! You thought I was going to say being a farmer is really hard, doesn’t pay well, and I am always gross and dirty from dealing with the animals. About those things, you are somewhat correct. I actually love my job. I know it seemed like I was complaining, but what normal guy doesn’t have things he needs to complain about from time to time? Don’t worry, I’m not about to go on a rant about how its all worth it knowing I make a product and provide a service that people need and that’s enough for me. Hell no, I might be a good guy, but I’m not next in line after the pope or nothing.

Anyways, my name is Marco and I am the Director of Animal Livelihood at Lucchetti Farm. Our farm is special for a lot of reasons, and all of those reasons are arguably the most important depending on which member of my team/family you ask (yeah, everyone who works here is part of the family…it gets personal sometimes). For instance, I am in charge of the animals, specifically the cattle, bulls, and calves. If you ignore the fact that I am in charge of the farm, I am the only worker on the farm who has an education higher than the 9th grade, and am knowledgeable in each section of the farm as the leader, then it could be understandable why some might see their contribution as more important than mine. Again, emphasize the might, because what good is a farm without its animals? You ever seen a movie that had a farm and there weren’t any cattle? Boom, I just won.

My sister, Filomena, or Fi as we call her for short (and to replace her stupid name, sorry Mom), is the Director of Butchery at Lucchetti. Like I said before, or did I? Actually, now that I’m thinking about it, you definitely don’t know this. We not only raise our own animals, we butcher them too! I really don’t get why some people always tell me to tone that part down. I can’t think of a joy on this earth that surpasses knowing the cow you have raised and been by the side of for about 18 months is going to get sliced up into the most delicious sections of meat you’ve ever had. I know I have a little bit of a bias, given the fact that our farm really depends on the money we make from our butchery and meat shop we have. Seriously though, our meat is good. I am a man who stands 6 feet 5 inches tall and spends my days moving around heavy objects and dealing with mind-numbing activities, I need lots of good food to keep me going. Personally, our steak is some damn good stuff. It can be a bit pricy, but nothing beats coming home from a long day of work, even being a paper-pusher, and being able to pop that big ol’ steak on the stove and make a mighty fine feast fit for the warrior you are. We also sell sauces and such (but between you and me, I think the sauces take away from the steak. It is already so juicy, but Fi insists on us continuing to make the because ‘herbs from the farm where the cow is raised creates a perfect spiritual connection to the steak.’ Yeah, I agree, she is a little loony at times).

Another star player of our farm is none other than my little brother, Gianni. He is the Executive Director of Waste Management and Fuel Sourcing. There was no need for his title to have executive in it, he just hates that he is in charge of managing all the animal dung and stuff. He does have a pretty unusual job though. Another thing that makes our farm stand out is our biofuel technology. Whoa, make way for the science to come through! Actually, though, we have this big machine that, to keep it simple, you shovel thousands of kilograms of manure into it, which then takes the manure and creates Methane gas. This gas is transported through pipes and such to our energy generator. We keep some of the energy, then sell some back to the state, giving us a little extra cushion of money for important things such as investing in equipment, purchasing feed, and buying a pinball machine that looks like a classic 1967 Ferrari. Don’t worry, though, everyone can use the pinball machine. Just because I am in charge doesn’t mean I’m a dictator. It is just important for everyone to do exactly what I want exactly when I need it and to not object or have any of their own personal opinions that conflict with my own. I doubt that is too much to ask for.

I will usually spend around 8 hours a day with just the cows. The other animals are important for their own reasons, but we have 600 animals, 450 of which are cows. I really like them and I know that I am great at taking care of them. Not to brag or anything, but I do have over 1000 trophies for best cow in show at various competitions and such. Wait, is that right? How embarrassing, I actually got the number wrong –its 1,346 trophies. I mean, I don’t know if I am in the position to brag or anything, but how many butchering trophies do you have, Fi? 10? 20? Oh, that’s right! You have one, from mom that says ‘best butcher in the world.’ Mom is always too sweet, especially when she clearly has a favorite child. Just kidding sis, I love you. You know you cut the best damn steak in the galaxy. Really though, I am glad we ended up having you go out and apprentice for Mr. Jillnams over at…ummmm…oh man, was his farm the Goat Farm? Or the Goad Farm?

Oh yeah! You’re right, sis. It was the Gigorata Farm. Okay, I know I forget things but is ‘Jesus, Marco’ really necessary? Wait, his name is Mr. Johnson, not Jillnams? Huh, maybe that’s why he stopped coming over for poker nights. I never would’ve pegged him as a man to get upset over things as petty as being called the wrong name for years by a close family friend/neighbor? Well, you win some and you lose some!

For real, though, it’s probably because we took all of his business. Fi, you basically do everything wrong in this world, but you must’ve taken all his knowledge on that meat cutting. Personally. I don’t like blood. Or death. Or spiders. Or shadows.

Oh, sorry. I got a bit distracted. Despite being a farmer and dealing with lots of crazy things, I still have my fears. I’m a human, and as a human it is very normal to be scared of balloons that make your voice get all weird and high-pitched. I was just trying to show that here at Lucchetti, we may have a lot of fun and play with each other, but we are really great at what we do. We don’t half ass anything; we do it to our best. If that happens to not be very good, at least we tried. Thankfully, our best isn’t just good, it is literally the best you’ll ever have. Am I biased? You’re damn right. That doesn’t mean I’m wrong, though, just means I have a reason to be passionate! If you ever want to come and join the family for a bit, or try some of the best steak this world has to offer, head on to Lucchetti. We will give you something to look-etti forward to…I know, that slogan sucks. I’ll keep working on it, but it’s hard, man. Not everyone can get lucky on the first try. At least it’s better than ‘Look-ett-i got here.’ It’s supposed to be like ‘look what we got here.’ I don’t know. Don’t judge the farm based on our slogan, the slogan doesn’t determine our quality, just our sense of humor!

Umbra Institute

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