Doña Ana is a citrus project with the main farm measuring 174 hectares, located in the municipality of Pozo la Higuera on the border between Murcia and Almeria. We have other smaller farms that work with the same philosophy and dedication but this is the flagship where the trees we offer for adoption will be. One of these is La Cueva, source of most of the clementines that we'll send at the beginning of the harvest season. We have a quite warm climate here with the occasional fresh sea breeze. Less than 20km away we have the beaches of Águilas. This combination of high temperature and fresh ocean air allows us to make some progress in the ripening of the fruit without the tree suffering too much stress from excessive heat.
The upper part of the farm, where the orange and tangerine trees are located, is a gently sloping hill. The main material of the soil is composed of slate and thanks to this there is not much growth of unwanted herbs. The trees are located in large ridges that allow the roots to have an optimal development without being affected by excessive humidity. The lower part of the farm is a much sandier terrain where a lot of lettuce and vegetables used to be grown. Now we have different lemon trees planted with the aim of harvesting lemons in Doña Ana all year round, even in summer. We also have a small part dedicated to grapefruits which will soon start producing.
The farm has been our property since 2017 and already in that year, we started the conversion to organic farming of the adult trees as well as the newly planted lemon trees. The farm has been fully certified as organic since 2022. The transition to organic has been long, as we needed to meet all the requirements and pass regular audits to ensure that we don't use chemicals on our farm. One of the measures we use to control pests are beneficial insects, which are responsible for stopping the possible presence of pests that may appear throughout the season. The installation of insect hotels has helped with this task, which is basically a way of letting nature take its course. Oh, and when we prune our citrus trees, we shred the branches to create cover crops, which are perfect for protecting the soil and encouraging the presence of organic matter. We always knew that we wanted to grow citrus fruit organically because we believe that technological development today makes it possible to greatly reduce the loss of yield that traditionally occurred when a crop was converted to organic. We had already been using biological control in other fields so the conversion to organic has been easier.
We rely on a team of highly specialized agronomists and field workers who are the key to making the project work. The team consists mainly of three people: myself, Paco Sánchez and his son, Paco Sánchez. They're in charge of inspecting the farm every day with Domingo, our technical field manager, to make sure that everything is as it should be. Their work is crucial throughout the year as they control the phytosanitary status, the need for water and the optimal starting time for harvest. We rely on temporary employment agencies for the pruning and harvesting of the fruit.
We work with the latest technology so that our trees do not lack anything and we use all the tools available to optimize the use of resources. We have irrigation sensors in all the farms that allow us to make optimal decisions about the irrigation of our plots.
Thanks to the exceptional location of our farm, we've introduced green energy systems. More specifically, we've installed solar panels at the top of the farm, which give us the energy needed for the maintenance of the farm.
The water on our farm comes from three main sources: the Negratín reservoir, the Tajo-Segura water channel, and the Águilas desalination plant, a nearby site. We use mainly manure from nearby goat farms to fertilize the farm and we also allow the remains of pruning and residues from the cutting of the ground cover to be incorporated into the soil as organic matter.