Azienda Agricola Magnano is a family owned and managed farm established in 1962 in the outskirts of the city of Francofonte in the Sicilian province of Syracuse at 280 meters above sea level. This area is renowned for the many citrus fruits orchards of excellent quality, in particular those with red pulp. We are located next to a natural protected park with a magnificent and rich biodiversity; not least with views that will leave you speechless.
With a rich history and passion for orange growing, our farm has been evolving from generation to generation, finally reaching what it has become today. It takes the family name from its manager and grower, Danilo Magnano. During the years we have looked towards a philosophy of innovation while respecting our environment and because of this, we decided in 2004 to transform our farm into an organic only fruit farm.
Our farm and business is distributed across several areas within the territory of Francofonte, totaling 12 hectares (29.6 acres) of orchards. Among the many citrus varieties we currently produce you can find Navel oranges (blond pulp) and red pulp oranges like Tarocco and Moro; Femminello Siracusano lemons, Star Ruby pink grapefruits, seedless Mandalate mandarins, Nova clementines, Tacle hybrids, finger limes also known as Citrus Caviar, Bergamot oranges, Vanilla oranges, and Seville bitter oranges which are excellent for marmalades.
Always following our philosophy of respecting and protecting the environment, we make sure that our most valuable resource, water, is well utilized and not wasted. Our water comes from two sources: water sharing among growers in the area with water that comes from natural springs that get diverted to each grower following a set schedule, as well as water from other natural springs in the area into our private cisterns so we can ration the water in a responsible manner. We are continuously improving our irrigation systems and cycles in order to keep our plants healthy and not waste water. Nowadays we use two types of irrigation systems: drip and sprinkler. The consumption per plant is about 1000 litres of water in the summer months when it does not rain. In the winter months it can be much lower or there is no need for irrigation at all.
To avoid using pesticides and other chemicals, in adherence to the organic methods of farming, we depend on nature to assist us. In order to fertilize the soil and provide nitrogen to the plants, we plant field beans in between rows which later get mowed and chopped, and left to naturally decompose in the ground. To combat weeds, we regularly perform maintenance and leave the cuttings to ferment on the ground in order to return the mineral salts and other micronutrients to the soil. When it comes to keeping harmful parasites at bay, we rely on an organically certified method that consists of the regular release of good insects who feed on those that tend to attack plants and fruits. All these practices increase the presence of natural enemies and the biodiversity of our farm.
As a business we have set an objective of not only providing quality products to our customers while making a profit, but also to share and create economic development opportunities within our local community. We hope to achieve this by promoting our rich territorial history and giving others the experience of tasting our history through our products.
At the moment our team is composed of eight hardworking members that have been with us for 10 years. I personally take pride in ensuring that our collaborators are not only paid fairly and on time, but also that they are happy and enjoy working with us. They are an integral part of the decision making process during operations, which gives them a great sense of pride and ownership in their work.
For us nothing goes to waste. Those products that do not meet our appearance expectations for sale as fresh but are still of great quality, get locally processed and transformed into juices, candied fruit, or marmalades that are also available to our customers.