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Here I would love to share with you our travels and adventures as international mushroom consultants. MEMOIRS about husband Pieter Vedder, who was a SCIENTIFIC PIONEER in Commercial Mushroom Cultivation Education. His practical handbook is in 9 languages and is called the MUSHROOM BIBLE: https://mariettesbacktobasics.blogspot.com/2020/08/modern-mushroom-growing-2020-harvesting.html

Monday, April 27, 2020

Tzvetana Rantcheva from Bulgaria and Chubritsa Spice

From several ISMS Congresses, Pieter got to know lots of international scientists.
It was always hardest for scientists from behind the iron curtain, from the communist countries that is... to travel internationally.
Pictured here is Tzvetana Rantcheva from Bulgaria, with Pieter to the left and to the right of her is Vitkov, who also visited us at the Mushroom farm of Fungi del Montello in Italy.
Here, Pieter is to the left and next to him is Stefan Lissitzov and Vitkov from Bulgaria.
Both photos are from August 29, 1989 and the Berlin Wall had not yet come down... marking the end of the Communist era for Eastern Europe.
Tzvetana Rantcheva was one of the scientists that lectured at the 1969 ISMS Congress in Hamburg and Pieter knows her for a long time.
International Society of Mushroom Science
Pieter did receive one of her 1971 publications, for adding to his library...
Dear Mr. Vedder
Many kind regards to all colleagues in your station. I hope this booklet will enrich your library.
Your Bulgarian friend and colleague,
Due to Tzvetana Rantcheva's many restrictions for living and working in a Communist country as Bulgaria was, Pieter helped co-author her book...
She did mail it to us from Bulgaria, and we received it in June of 1986...
To Petter Vedder
with respect and gratitude
April, 1986         Rantcheva
Sofia, Bulgaria
 (well, writing in cyrillic and managing the Roman alphabet as well, is quite challenging!)
Their paper quality was the poorest one...
Sadly so, but she meticulously gave credit to all of Pieter's photos!
Contrary to most others, regardless of all their privileges of living in the free and modern world, that only stole photos and big parts of text, without ever giving due credit. 
They think that plagiarism went out of the window?!
Both of us felt humbled and touched by being able to help a scientist from Communist Bulgaria out...

While visiting us at work in Italy, Tvetana Rantcheva gifted us a hand made wooden box, filled with special mixed spices and herbs from Bulgaria.
Not very large but I've kept it all those years with lots of sentiment... empty for years now.
Finally last year we both got to visit her country, Bulgaria, even though not her city of Sofia.
Queen of Bulgarian spices: summer savoury (chubritsa) click link
It was special receiving her Bulgarian Christmas cards...
Sadly we lost contact since our life in Italy.

Related posts:

Thursday, April 23, 2020

Pieter Took Incredible Aerial Photos of St. Peter's Basilica in Rome

In 1972, while en route to Jakarta, Indonesia with KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, they first landed in Rome, Italy.
The captain called his passengers to the attention of this view...
While descending, the weather was perfect and allowing Pieter to make two incredible aerial photos from the St. Peter's Basilica in Rome.
Seen to the left with the Tiber River flowing to the right...
As the plane turned, now St. Peter's Basilica is more to the right.
St. Peter's Basilica as seen from Google Maps

Sometimes one can get lucky when flying over a certain area!

Sunday, April 19, 2020

Brother Jan with Wife Wilma Rode his BMW Motorbike for 15 Hours to Visit us in Italy

While living and working in Italy, we had only one family member ever visit us...
Brother Jan Van den Munckhof, on his BMW Motorbike with his wife Wilma in the passenger seat, and it took him almost 15 hours, just 15 minutes short.
That was on Saturday, July 29, 1989 and they arrived around 19:00 after we'd worked, as usual till after lunch.
Sunday, July 30, Wilma and I walking as we just purchased a water melon 5.5 kg (12 pound) that Wilma craved for! Photo by Jan L.G. Van den Munckhof.
This was earlier in the morning as Jan & Wilma hiked up the hill behind our apartment, discovering our surroundings.
Both of us looking out of the bathroom window...That day we took them to medieval artist city of Asolo where we walked around and had an ice coffee on the terrace.
We of course took them to our lot, across Madonna di Rocca, where we were supposed to build our home.
We spotted Bambi near the Runero Creek.
Back at home I made Babi Pangang...
On Monday, July 31, Jan & Wilma drove to the Dolomites and even lived through a thunderstorm... Both of us worked, and then we wanted to drive to Montebelluna for finding us a restaurant.
That proved to be quite an adventure as everything was closed!
WORSE was that we were running out of gas...
After Pieter spoke these words: 'IF we just make it over that final hill with Essy (my white Ford Escort) at least the downhill pushing of the car will be a lot easier', it became dead silent inside the car.
Miraculously we made it till the mushroom farm where we swapped Essy for Merc, our Mercury Sable, as he had a full stomach!
As bonus we even managed to find us a Pizzeria that was OPEN...
On Tuesday August 1, a normal working day and Jan & Wilma had a lazy day at and around home.
We went to the Silos Supermarket in Treviso.
On Wednesday, August 2, Jan & Wilma went to Venice for the day... We had a regular workday.
Thursday, August 3, regular work and Wilma had cooked a delicious meal for all of us at home.
Friday, August 4, I did my 5th training class with slides etc. and Jan & Wilma came to the mushroom farm by 11:00 and we went home together for lunch. Jan & Wilma next went to the River Piave for sun tanning as we went back to work. Pizza dinner in Crochetta del Montello.
Saturday, August 5, we both went to work as usual and Jan & Wilma came to the mushroom farm and also Ruud & Monique Thielen from Thilot for a machine demonstration.
With Tommaso we went to a restaurant near Montebelluna and afterwards we all visited Tommaso and Rosella at their villa.
Ruud & Monique followed us till Treviso, on their way back to Venice and we went shopping in Treviso.
That yielded us an angel, that is still with us, but Pieter has chipped off nearly all its fingers... Haha!
In this still shot from home movie 1999 it is still reasonable.
This is what he (yes!) looks like now...
It is a numbered Unterweissbach 1882
We ate a Pizza and got home just in time for a thunderstorm.
Sunday, August 6, Jan rode home on his motorbike with Wilma, they left at 5:30 and reached Horst aan de Maas in The Netherlands by 19:15... It sure is a vast distance!

Related posts:
Living out of our Suitcases - BUT we LIVED near Venice, Italy! | previous post by me
Our Historic Christmas in Italy - END of Romania's Communist Dictator | previous post by me
{Our Apartment in Cornuda, TV, Italy} | previous post by me
{2013 Fiat 500 versus Fiat 500 Topolino} | previous post by me
Visiting A.G. Linfield Mushroom Compost Facility in England  | previous post by me about Thilot and GTL Europe as it is called now

Wednesday, April 15, 2020

Living out of our Suitcases - BUT we LIVED near Venice, Italy!

How fun it is to move across the Ocean with all your household belongings...
Maybe a few of you have gone through the tedious process of going to the Embassy first and then the medical check, all the paper work and work permit etc.
AND moving all your belongings inside two 40-foot containers (one for the cars...) across the Atlantic Ocean.
Our 2nd move across the Ocean did not end too well...
That is, we ONLY had to live 8 weeks out of our 4 suitcases.
Due to a strike at the harbor in Italy our goods could not get delivered!
An empty apartment with its hollow sounds and our 4 suitcases...
Our kitchen sink and the ONE cooking pot we purchased for making a hearty meal soup or a one-pan dish. Mind you, there was no oven!
Eating out was also limited due to its high cost...
BUT we lived in the Venice area!
Until finally after 8 weeks, from our 5th floor apartment, we could see the furniture arrive in the big container...
Yes, there was a Bar Belvedere below, more a coffee shop where we enjoyed a great cappuccino.
What a feeling for finally getting back our furniture, after about 4 months...
The men from Gondrand became active...
Scary if they REMOVE the windows and hoist it up on an elevator to our 5th story... and all through the window!
View down from the guest bedroom window, on that elevator...
This was the view from the back of our apartment... Mountain View!
We stayed in Italy for less than a year. Pieter had just changed his American Driver License for the Italian 'Patente' on November 30 of 1989... I never changed mine as we already had plans for moving back to Georgia and working in Indonesia.
In doing so, Pieter lost his motorcycle license as they left it off, for whatever reason.
Sadly we lost our Italian pension money because we did not work for 1 year... Nobody told us, or warned us for that.

IT IS WHAT IT IS... My Mantra!

Quite an adventure!
And YES, we did move all our belongings a 3rd time across the Atlantic Ocean...
This is a weird photo... somehow that film roll got double exposure.
De Haan movers from The Netherlands is seen parked alongside the apartment and in the front you see our two white cars side by side...
I've helped those two guys loading the truck and I even loved doing so!
They said they would hire me...
This is the weirdest photo!
Our cars being parked behind each other in front of the apartment in Italy and then you see them again, now parked side by side on Dad's lawn and Dad standing in-between the cars.
My Ford Escort 4 doors with high output and shift stick and Mercury Sable wagon...
We drove them to The Netherlands, in a caravan; only about 12 hours!

Related posts:
Our Historic Christmas in Italy - END of Romania's Communist Dictator | previous post by me
{Our Apartment in Cornuda, TV, Italy} | previous post by me
{2013 Fiat 500 versus Fiat 500 Topolino} | previous post by me

Saturday, April 11, 2020

Buying Property in Cornuda, Italy below Madonna di Rocca

One more solo flight for me, from Atlanta to Amsterdam in May of 1988.
With an Audi rental car from my hometown, I drove to the north of Germany.
Doing my two weeks of mushroom consulting.
Husband Pieter also flew from Atlanta to Amsterdam and joined me after that.
Together we went to the Dutch Mushroom Days and next we flew via Düsseldorf, Germany to Venice in Italy...
We arrived okay but only 1 of our 3 luggage pieces got there...
So after lunch, Pieter went with our friend Tommaso back to Venice and retrieved the luggage pieces!
Later in the afternoon, we looked at property for building a house.
At the top to the left you can see Madonna di Rocca, a Sanctuary in Cornuda, Treviso - Italy.
Below is the street going to the building site...
Not the best photo but a beautiful area!
Now Madonna di Rocca is not visible to the left...
This was the corner where our house would get build.
This is it!
To the right you see some kind of guard rail, that is where the romantic Runero was running, a little creek.
A different angle and Madonna di Rocca is to the left, again not in sight here...
Stepping back from that corner you see that also behind the lots there was another hill.
A rather natural setting and peaceful.
Back to the view towards the main road (where the taller houses are).
It was a rather steep climb, if you preferred to go on foot, as we've later done several times.
Santuario della Madonna della Rocca (Cornuda) TV, Italia just click through for viewing a short drone video.
On top of a military observation fortress stands the sanctuary of the Madonna della Rocca, a place of pilgrimage from the surrounding parishes and spiritual point for many people.
It dates back to 1245 and got damaged and destroyed several times during wars and battles.
Yes, due to this being in an earthquake region, the Church's bell tower is always built separate from the Sanctuary...
Husband Pieter was requested to give a lecture on June 8, 1988, at the beautiful Natural History and Archeology Museum of Montebelluna, Treviso Province in Italy.
An interesting conference is being organized for tonight.
The theme: "The advancing technology in mushroom cultivation and marketing"
Yes, Pieter was still working for Campbell International then!
But we both were preparing our move to Italy and starting to work there for the largest Italian Mushroom plant.
Sergio Venzo, chairman of the ecology and agriculture department whom we met upon arrival in April, a previous trip in 1988.
That was a trip to The Netherlands for Pieter's Mom's 93rd Birthday and we flew to Italy from Amsterdam to Venice. We talked with the deputy mayor Sergio Venzo for two hours in French! Yes, both of us did not speak nor understand Italian yet...
Sergio planned to offer something to Pieter in June, on behalf of the city of Montebelluna... so here we were.
Museo di Storia Naturale e Archologia di Montebelluna, TV Italia click through for more.
It was a great turnout of some 80 mushroom growers in attendance.
We later had dinner together with our friend Tommaso Sartor and his friend Sergio Venzo, where Pieter also got presented a couple of his Italian books.
King Spawn was the Sartor family's own mushroom spawn plant, they'd sponsored this edition of P.J.C. Vedder's publication in Italian.
LA MODERNA FUNGICOLTURA (Modern Mushroom Growing)
The mayor also visited us at our table in the restaurant...
The preparation for our new job and everything around that, was in the process!
On June 9, after some work at the mushroom plant, we went again to the location of the property and to see an architect. Pieter planned to use his design from our home in Georgia, adapted somewhat.
We did buy the property that day, around 18:00 and went out for dinner with Tommaso but that proved to be a disaster as our steak with green peppercorn sauce was 'green' inside!
Good grief - our only restaurant disaster ever, within Italy...
Friday, June 10, we did have a general meeting at the mushroom plant and in the afternoon we went shopping in Treviso with Rosella & Tommaso Sartor.
We found a beautiful gold-plated shaving set for Uncle Bo as a gift...
Saturday, June 11 we got up at 5:00 and Tommaso came to pick us up for the flight from Venice at 7:15 and via Milan we flew to Amsterdam and with a phone call home we left for Atlanta, USA...

We now also had our own property in Italy...

Preparing for the next chapter!

But on June 17 we both flew to Sydney, Australia with Quantas from San Francisco... My 1st trip to down under!
Hectic lifestyle!

Related links:

Tuesday, April 7, 2020

3,000,000 Blog Pageviews & Our Clematis Candida

Guess that especially during this time of crisis, people are reading more...
Which is a good thing to do!
Our Clematis lanuginosa 'Candida' on April 6.
Turning towards our lawn and pond...
They can reach a diameter of 9 inches (or 22.8 cm!
On April 8, the magical number of 3,000,000 Blog Pageviews got reached...

THANKS for all your loyal visits over the years!

Related posts:
{Our Clematis  Lanuginosa Candida} | previous post by me
{2,000,002 Pageviews on my Humble Blog} | previous post on January 5, 2017
{999,999 Pageviews on my Humble Blog} | previous post on July 3, 2014


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