The Dolomites’ vegetable garden

After studying meteorology at Innsbruck University,
George decided he’d like something closer to the ground.
He created Ort di Ras above San Vigilio,
planting and harvesting delicious mountain vegetables.

Tomatoes, salads, flowers, peppers, aubergines, peas, radishes, rockets, basil, curly kale, lentils – that’s right, lentils! And purple mountain spinach, to boot. Ort di Ras is located 1,500 m asl at the foot of the rocky cliffs of the Dolomites of Marebbe, and yields those and many more delicious vegetables. After years studying meteorology, George decided to create a project unique in nature: give life to a mountain vegetable garden by using select, organic seeds without any chemical additives. Like Mother Nature intended. The entire kitchen staff and our sommeliers went to visit him. We were swept away by his manners and approach to everything. George is a kind soul, hasn’t got a care in the world, and gladly showed us his three gardens explaining what he does here. The mountain breeze seems to do the vegetables a world of good, and the softspoken music blowing across the gardens is the perfect counterbalance to this contemporary farmer’s voice. He’s travelled the world and decided to come back to his home to take care of the land, giving it all he can. He uses nettles as fertilisers, and he only uses cow and chicken manure.

We wanted to see what George did up close, as our relationship started a good year ago. In our Casa we believe suppliers should become our trusted partners. If you happen to order a dish, dear guests, and taste some delicious aubergine, just know it’s not the result of intensive farming but the result of hard, patient work carried out by a man who came back home to protect his land. And we’re happy to share part of his harvest.

Giulan, George.

Simone Cantafio

executive chef