Nancy Harmon Jenkins, a nationally known food writer with a specialty in Mediterranean and Italian traditions, will give a talk titled “Real Tuscany” at Merryspring Nature Center on Tuesday, Feb. 2 at noon.

For much of the past 40 years, Jenkins has divided her time between her native Camden and a small farm in the hills above Cortona in Tuscany. Watching her Tuscan neighbors as they farm their land, sow and harvest their crops, make their wine and their olive oil, grow old and pass on, leaving another generation to take over a deeply traditional but not unchanging way of life, has been, she said, “an extraordinary privilege.”

“I watched as the people around me slowly moved, in the space of a few short decades, from the 18th to the 21st century and did so with extraordinary grace and ease,” Jenkins said.

Jenkins plans to talk about her Tuscan neighbors and show slides that illustrate how family farmers continue to live and work close to the land and provide for themselves and their communities in much the same way their parents and grandparents did, preserving both agricultural and culinary traditions.

Jenkins has lived, worked and raised a family in many Mediterranean countries; she is a former food writer for The New York Times and currently freelances for a number of publications, including the Washington Post and Saveur magazine. She is the author of a number of books about food and is currently working on two — one on the Atlantic salmon and one on her Tuscan community.

Merryspring members and all children attend talks free, and there is a charge of $5 for non-members.

Merryspring is a member-supported nonprofit nature education center and park located at the end of Conway Road just off Route 1 by the Hannaford shopping plaza in Camden. For more information, call Merryspring at 236-2239 or visit merryspring.