La Grande Rastrellata – Second edition

We did it! On Saturday, the second edition of the “Grande Rastrellata” took place and it was a success! Ian and Oli were the first to show up, soon followed by Emanuele, Renzo, Jacopo, Gianmarco, Alessandro and even Nicola and Paula took part to the action!

Compared to the 2019 edition this year we had a huge improvement: Renzo found a pick up to transport the leaves to the Ecocentro. With such a vehicle our productivity sky rocketed! As per our estimates we were able fill and transport 45 huge orange bags! The keeper of the Ecocentro was kind of shocked and suspicious about such a great quantity of leaves.

First load complete! In the picture almost the whole team in front of the fully loaded pickup!

The weather was spectacular: a beautiful sun and a really nice temperature were our companions for the whole day and contributed substancially to the good mood and success of the day. Have a look at the sky at 07:30 in the morning!

A really beautiful sky early in the morning. Very soft clouds moving in the blue, while the rising sun gives some pink color… Good morning and a good start in the day!

If I may add a little (worried) side note, the weather was even too nice and warm for this period of the year. Apparently the temperatures were so high that broke all the records since the beginning of measurements.

Anyhow as soon as anyone arrived they received a nice pair of working gloves, a rake and their very own piece of forest to clean up. Some worked in pairs others preferred to choose the lone wolf path. Everyone was raking and trying to optimise the collecting process, which between the two, is the most energy demanding.

Soon enough it was time to prepare the grill: Gianmarco took control of it and grilled for all of us. With the support of Enza, Natascia and Benedetta who prepared all the rest, the lunch was great. Especially the chocolate cake left a delicious memory to all of us.

The grill and its Master had a huge success! Thank you!

While waiting for the food to be ready we even had some time to practice with some pictures from the top of the sky!

Waiting for lunch to be ready!
The city of Lugano seen from above!

The whole day was great and I loved it: there was a lot of work to be done, still everyone was highly motivated and energetic! And the more we racked the ground the more we got excited!

There were those moments were everyone was so concentrated in raking and collecting leaves, following their own path and thoughts, that you would not hear anything else beside the noise of the rakes scratching the ground. In those moments I liked to stop, catch some breath and shout out the name of anyone, just to bring everyone back to our dimension… 🙂 … jokes aside I am quite convinced that raking, similarly to many cleaning activities, brings you to think and at the same time relaxes you.

Oli was one who got mostly deep into the woods and as a consequence he disappeared for a while. He was one I called out and I do have this picture of his in my mind: Oli getting out of the woods, with his huge orange bag on his shoulders bouncing up and down, with a huge smile of satisfaction for his big cargo! A superhero! 😀 It was impossible to not to joke about him!

But it is thanks to him if I have this beautiful picture to share with all of you:

Or what about this one? Is someone hiding behind a rake?!

It was a beutiful day, I had a lot of fun and it was great to have many of our friends with us for a little longer than usual: a nice moment to catch up on each other lives!

I am really looking forward for the next Grande Rastrellata! Leaves will be waiting, for sure! 😀 Thanks to all of you and until next year!

La Grande Rastrellata

The idea came to my mind for the first time a few years ago. Although not difficult to realise it took me some courage to make it happen, but then… I decided to do it and soon enough I was getting in touch with Oli, Marco, Ema, Ian, Silvio, Gianmarco as I wanted to know if they where “in” for some work together!

This time, the invite was somewhat different from the standard lunch invitation: although the aim of the event was to spend some time together I asked my friends to take working gloves and a rack as the plan was to clean the near woodland by removing some of the leaves that had fallen during fall.

And this we did! On the 09th of March at 09:00 o’clock Marco was at my door with all the tools, gloves, huge orange plastic bags and with professional gardening clothes ready to start La Grande Rastrellata!

Soon the rest of the group showed up and the rhythmic sound of the racks hitting the ground made good company to the birds announcing the first days of spring. Everyone besides Giammarco, who had an accident the day before and could not stand properly.

We decided that it would be best to start from the most deep part of the woodland and then slowly come back to the entry point while the we removed the leaves.

Marco was ultra determined and soon he was so deep into the forest that we could not see him anymore, even with his orange and yellow professional clothes. We would know that he was around only because of the noise of his furious rack. 🙂

The other working unit was made by Oli and Ema: less aggressive than Marco they preferred to chit chat while working…

Meanwhile I was struggling to keep the pace of Ian who, to my great joy, was leaving all over the place small piles of leaves which I was putting into one of the numerous orange bags. Once finished of transferring one of the piles which Ian had energetically prepared I would look around looking for some satisfaction: every time I would stop I realised that there was still so much more to do that I stopped looking around searching for satisfaction. 😀 Instead I would shout to Ian to help me picking up the leaves, instead of concentrating on the “easy” work of racking them together! 😀

I even tried to develop a personal technique to avoid flexing so much, here some pictures:

Even if all of us try to do some sport during the week, after 01:30 hours we were ready for a coffee break. The first signs of fatigue were there, but in general ,the happiness of being outdoor doing a physical job was prevailing.

Everyone was really thankful to my wife for the coffee, water and biscuits which disappeared, really, really quickly! I guess Ian was the culprit there…

After the short break we started working again. I even involved my father, who luckily was there, by asking him to prepare the grill and start grilling. I knew that everyone was concentrated in getting its own piece of woodland cleared, but I also was aware that as soon as everyone would have finished, they would discover of being hungry as wolves.

Around 13:00 we decided to stop. There still were a lot of leaves on the ground, but we already had filled all the bags we had. This also considering that Renzo had already taken and emptied some of the bags at the ecocenter.

Since we did not have any empty bag to use, we joined the rest of the family for lunch: we started with some grilled bread covered with tomato, oil and oregano (bruschette) which was amazing.

The picture represent multiple orange plastic bags filled with leaves at the end of our gardening work.
Some of the bags we filled with leaves.

After the grilling and the lunch some of us had to leave while Oli had some more time to help me transport the big orange bags to the ecocenter. The Skoda Octavia proved itself once more: by keeping down the back seats we managed to fit four of those bags. Actually there was even more room left, most probably two more bags could have fit. I did not want to soil or scratch the interiors, therefore we decided to stay conservative: a good choice for the car, less for the whole logistic process: the ecocenter closed its doors on our nose when we were ready to drop the last two bags. Damn. Oli will never forget the frustration of not managing to 100% complete the job. 😀

Even with that small hiccup we were all happy about the day. A good change from the daily office routine. It is incredible how such an easy job as collecting leaves can have such a great impact on your mood. Of course with a group of good friends everything makes more fun!

A huge thank you for the effort and for the good mood you brought which made the whole day rock!… and as it was such a success… til next year! 🙂