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Farmers from Casa Carlos farm posing for the photo

Your Farmer’s voice: Casa Carlos

This year’s season has been marked by a somewhat atypical climate for our area. In autumn it took a long time for the cold to arrive and then we had quite a lot of rain when the harvest began. Spring has been very rainy and the heat has come late. This means that this year’s harvest will be smaller than we expected, but surely of better quality.

Green oranges hanging on an orange tree branch

The process of preparing and sending boxes has worked well. We have learned from the small mistakes that have occurred; we will try to improve the information about the product, especially when the varieties we harvest change as it is normal that the first fruits harvested from each variety are more acidic than the last. We will adjust the size of the box better so that oranges and clementines do not move so much in transport and some other small details.

During these months we have put a lot of emphasis on improving the entire irrigation system of the farm: we installed a relief valve that takes the water from the surface of the pond and we are also changing the watering hoses for ones with less flow but more drippers. From March to July we prune the orange and clementine trees and grind the wood to incorporate it into the soil and increase the organic matter of the soil. Where we have no plantation we are regenerating the soil with the cultivation of alfalfa.

Sunset in Casa Carlos' field

Following the calendar of biodynamic agriculture, we have applied the 500 (soil) and 501 (foliage) preparations, in addition to the compost with biodynamic preparations and the Maria Thun preparation.

We have been observing some very suggestive figures generated in the sediments of the 500 preparation in the dynamizing tank all season long, and we are investigating how they relate to the biodynamic calendar.

The bottom of the tanks used to make preparation 500 for biodynamic cultivation

We are collaborating with the University of Valencia to develop biological control systems for the Cotonet pests affecting citrus fruits. In addition, we already have our own insectarium in operation where we are breeding a beneficial insect: Cryptolaemus montrouzieri.

The cryptolaemus montrouzieri insect on a farmer's hand.

Apart from clementines and oranges, our kiwi and grape crops are developing very vigorously: eleven thousand vines of seedless grapes and sixteen thousand yellow kiwi. Next year, we will therefore have a harvest of these two fruits. We are also completing the greenhouses where we will be growing three varieties of Pitaya, which is a fruit with exceptional health properties. We will keep you informed.

At the team level, we have grown a lot in a short time. We are now close to thirty in Casa Carlos and among the permanent workers we have a group of people with intellectual disabilities who take care of tasks such as cutting the herbs on the kiwi field or supporting our young vines.

Farmers from Casa Carlos farm posing for the photo

We hope that you will continue to share this journey with us, which is proving to be an exciting one.