How we produce
Quality and care for the environment are the principles that inform our farming decisions. To this end, every phase of the production process is monitored and controlled.
We use integrated pest management systems on our crops; particularly bumble bees (insects similar to bees) are used for the pollination, alongside grafted seedlings on a rootstock resistant to pest attacks.
This method, despite the higher costs, allows us to grow whilst also respecting the environment.
Every phase of the production process is carefully monitored, from the planting of seedlings to the harvesting; picking and selection are carried out with utmost care so that all the fruits better express their organoleptic characteristics.
The pollinating insects make an important contribution to the success of the agricultural production. Due to their high efficiency as fertilizers, bumble bees are normally used for the pollination of different crops, particularly tomato, pepper, eggplant, strawberry, melon and other fruit crops. Their use results in more regular and high quality fruits, although more expensive, and also avoids the artificial insemination of the flowers.
The pollinating activity performed by bumble bees is particularly important in Europe due to the chances of breeding in bio-factories that it offers and subsequent commercial distribution.
The use of bumble bees for the pollination of sheltered crops, which started in the early eighties in Europe, became increasingly popular even in the Mediterranean basin where it represents a powerful instrument contributing to the spread of both integrated and organic pest management.
It is a method used to protect the crops from pest attacks. This process is the recovery of an ancient method of protection and enhancement of crops, with the most famous case being the grapevine phylloxera, which was eradicated by grafting the European grapevine onto the American one. In modern times, the grafting as a means of defence of horticultural species was completely dismissed in favour of chemical means.
Two seeds are used for the graft: one of them will generate the seedling that will serve as a rootstock (meaning that it will put roots in the ground), whereas the other one will generate the seedling that will produce fruits.
The rootstock seedling will put roots in the ground and, since it is naturally able to resist pests, will protect the other seedling that will engage in the top part out of the ground. For the grafting to be successful, seedlings must be related, so they must belong to the same botanical family.
This process increases production costs because two seedlings are needed instead of one and the grafting operation is executed manually. However the higher cost is rewarded with a healthier product, because this method avoids the use of chemical treatments where they would otherwise be required. Furthermore, through this method we achieve our main goal, the respect of the environment.
It’s a control system of harmful organisms which, in full compliance with the economic, ecological and toxicological needs, uses all the available factors and techniques to keep pathogens below a density that may be economically detrimental, prioritizing natural limiting factors.
Natural enemies (parasites, parasitoids and predators) are employed along with farming practices, resistant plant varieties, physical fight (the use of predators) and elaborated forecasting models on insect and fungi infestations, all with the aim of creating a balance favourable to the production.
Depending on the proximity of the threat, it is possible to deploy either farming practices, biological or chemical means. An integrated pest management program is dynamic and responsive to information obtained on field; it requires the active and motivated presence of the farmer who will be the “operations manager”. It is thus a method of rationalizing the usage of phytoiatric resources, be they of chemical, biological, physical, agronomical or biotechnological nature.
It is obtained by applying ecological principles with the aim to combine integrated pest management of crops with:
- An appropriate choice of variety and nursery materials according to the suitability of the area and its soil and climate characteristics, optimal for a given species;
- A soil management designed to enhance the fertility of the land;
- An appropriate nurturing and pruning system
- Harvesting at the times of both optimum ripeness and suitability for storage.