Since we founded Naranjas del Carmen in 2010, we’ve learned how to convert to organic farming. During the adaptation process, the orange tree harvest decreases and then recovers little by little as the soil recovers microbial life and the roots learn how to absorb nutrients from the soil naturally. Thanks to the fact that we’ve tested this process on our own trees, we can safely say that the soil is regenerating thanks to our hard work and patience.
In May 2021, we took up a new challenge: to convert Verger de Alicia to organic farming. It’s an orange, clementine, pomegranate and persimmons orchard belonging to Benjamin, a 72-year-old neighbouring farmer. After a few months looking for funding, the bank granted us a loan and we signed the sale contract at a notary office in Valencia. We’ve already begun the transition to organic farming and we’ve convinced Benjamin to keep coming to help us.
Thanks to its climate and orography (relief), the farm offers optimal conditions for the development of this organic project. It's surrounded by the Sierra Calderona mountains, making it a home to a remarkably diverse Mediterranean flora and fauna, including wild boar, roe deer, goats, eagles and bats. In fact, bats are the symbol of the Valencia region.
We've built an insectarium for breeding insects, which then help us control pests and maintain a balance. We mechanically control the grass and try to avoid overusing the tractor and compacting the soil too much. We only cut the grass in the summer months so that it doesn't compete with the fruit trees.
Verger de Alicia has abundant water that is pumped into a reservoir at night. We then use this for all the trees, watering between three times a week in the summer to once or not at all in the winter, depending on rainfall.
As we sell our crops and pay back the bank loan, we want to invest into solar panels to power the water pump.
There are forty of us working full-time now: farmers, engineers, beekeepers, programmers, designers, etc. A great mix of people working on a profitable agricultural project with the ability to attract talent. If you're passing through Valencia one day soon, we'll be delighted to show you the farm and our way of life.
Over the next ten years, we know that we're going to endure difficult seasons with small harvests, hailstorms or strong winds, but we're sure that direct selling will help us overcome these issues, as we have done in the past. We also know that the feeling of fulfilment and pride in carrying out an organic agricultural project makes all the effort truly worthwhile.