Small, dark lentils have long been grown in the volcanic soil on the island of Ustica. The cultivation technique has remained unaltered over time, and is almost completely manual. The lentils are sown in January and harvested in the first half of June, when the plants have dried out. They are cut with sickles and piled up into sheaves before being threshed. Until a few years ago, donkeys were still used to drag large stones over the sheaves laid out on the threshing floor. The farmers would then use wooden hayforks to throw the straw up in the air, over and over again, until the wind had blown it all away from the lentils.
Harvested in June, the dried lentils can be found year-round.
Ustica Island, Palermo Province
Presidium supported by
Sicilian Region’s Agriculture and Forestry Department
tel. +39 091 8449385
tel. +39 339 2749073
di Giovanni Palmisano
via S. Bartolomeo, 10
tel. +39 091 8449106
di Margherita Longo
tel. +39 091 8449543