La Yarda di Sabatino e Vincenza

By Frank Cucca

Sabatino Bellico has always had passion for gardening from back in Cimitile, Napoli Italy where he grew up as a farmer. He came from a family of six brothers. His mother was a single parent who lost her husband at a very early age. Sabatino was only 17 years old when his father passed away leaving the youngest brother of 6 years of age. He then basically took over his father’s work to go and sell the produce they made in the farm in Naples to help his mother provide for the family. He came to Canada in 1964 to be reunited with his girlfriend at the time. Shortly after his arrival he was married and started his journey with Vincenza De Luca. They rented a place on 12th Avenue for the first year of marriage. They had their daughter Olimpia in 1965 and shortly after they purchased their first home that to date they still are residing in. In 1967, they had their second child Giorgio. Vincenza grew up in Cicciano Napoli where she too was a farmer.
She came from a family of 5 sisters, 2 brothers. When she was 22 years of age she lost her mother suddenly that took a toll on her as she missed her mother dearly. Shortly after her mother’s death Vincenza got a job in the Pastificio Russo in Cicciano where she would provide for her family as her father and 2 brothers set out to Canada for a better life. She arrived in Canada in the later part of 1963 where she was reunited with her father Francesco and brothers Felice and Antonio. Shortly after Sabatino arrived in Canada they were married. Sabatino and Vincenza are so passionate about their Yarda (Vegetable Garden or Lorto) and are so giving to friends and neighbors once their produce and figs are ready. Sabatino spends countless hours daily from early morning to ensure that the Yarda is in perfect shape. His favorite produce and fruits that they grow include; Tomatoes, Beans, Scarole (escarole), Onions, Radicchio, Egg Plants, Sweet Peppers, Rapini, Lettuce (lattuga), Garlic, Zucchini, and more! Fruit trees include two types of Figs, Grape, and Lemons. Vincenza’s responsibility is strictly looking after the flowers (giardino) her floral garden and potted plants. He is always planning ahead as he now has made room for the rapini. It’s a family affair, as they are showing me their Yarda and entertaining me with a cup of espresso their sister-in-law Graziella Bellico arrived to pick up some fresh escarole and then their daughter Olimpia & husband Mike Malsegna along with their daughter Enza arrived for a visit.
We are all looking forward to when the figs are ready!

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