Agriculture and Animals
Beginning in the XIX century, tabacco became the most prevalent cash crop. Other agricultural products and raising animals were on a small scale mostly to contribute to the meger annual income.
Field borders were planted with beans and grape vines, infrequently with potatoes or vegetables. Most families preferedd to grow tabacco which could be sold or traded.
Raising cows for the dairy products, manure for fertalizer and the occasional veal gave a considerable economic advantage to a family farm. Most families had one or two cows and some kept goats to produce milk while cows were grazing in the high pastures during the summer. During the winter the animals were kept in stalls and milk was taken to small dairy processing areas that shared the work of making cheese and pasturizing milk. In the summer cows were led to high pasture to the stalls owned by the comune and contracted out for the season. Animals were left to 'malgari' who lived and cared for the cows, in exchange they were given a percentage of the production.
Valstagna has approximately 132 acres of pasture, only 13% of the community property. Despite the abandoment of dairy farming as a viable source of income there are still 6 functioning farms. In 1958 there were 9.
“around the fields were rows of vines, in between beans, cabbage and broccli, underneath we planted radicchio. They grew big and fat, between tabacco plants we planted celery, cause it was in the shade. That's what we ate. We made our own wine, had pig and cows: made cheese, butter and milk for home. Nel 'scoro' or mild by products, we added added some flour and semoline and gave it to the pigs to eat”.
(Diana G. Valgadena 1999)