1 folder+ 37 digital images; 29 photographic prints
Mixed archival materials
United States of America, Pennsylvania, Allegheny County, Sewickley
Macchione Italian Garden (Sewickley, Pennsylvania)
The Macchione Italian Garden is a working family garden in which the four-tenths of an acre lot is planted with vegetables, herbs, and fruits that produce food for this extended family, following traditional practices. Some of these practices include collecting rainwater from the roofs of the house and garage in two large cisterns, growing bamboo in a corner next to the garage that is used for bean and tomato supports, using old pipes to build a grape arbor, and using plant material such as garlic leaves to tie up vines. Flowers are grown for beauty alongside vegetables and herbs as foundation plantings around the white clapboard house but there are few ornamental trees or shrubs. The working trees include Chinese chestnut and fruit: apple, apricot, cherry, fig, peach, pear, persimmon and plum, which, in addition to the grapes grown on the arbor, will be preserved or made into wine.
There are two large vegetable gardens enriched with compost in which the crops are rotated and planted in succession to maximize production. In May lettuce and broccoli are planted in alternating rows so the lettuce will be shaded as the weather gets warmer; other early season crops included garlic, onions and strawberries grown in pots. In summer the crops include zucchini, many kinds of peppers, cabbages, beans, eggplant and tomatoes. Rapini is planted in the fall while the seeds of the summer vegetables are saved for the next year. A white fig tree is pushed over into a trench each year and covered with boards and leaves so it will survive the winter weather. Chickens are kept in a coop next to the garage and their diet of corn is supplemented with harvested vegetable stalks.
The Macchione Italian Garden is featured in www.theitaliangardenproject.com and participated in a tour of Italian gardens in 2010.
Persons associated with the garden include: Schmitt family (former owners, 1910-1923); Brown family (former owners, 1923-1965); Rosario and Concetta Floro (former owners, 1965-1993); Frank and Dominica Flora (former owners, 1993-1999); Giovanni and Maria Macchione (former owners, 1999- ).
The folder includes worksheets, photocopies of articles, a calendar, a planting list, historical information about the Italian community, and 28 photographic prints of horticultural details.
This property is featured in "Sewickley Tour Reveals How Italian Men Garden" by Kevin Kirkland published in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, August 7, 2010; "Local Women Team up to Share Beauty of Italian Gardens" by Joanne Barron published in the Sewickley Herald, December 16, 2010; "Italian Gardens Yield Feast" by Joanne Barron published in the Pittsburgh Tribune, May 26, 2011; "Local Italian Gardens to be Spotlighted" by Joanne Barron published in the Sewickley Herald, April 18, 2013