Our farm is located in a place known as Pago de Trayamar, in the area of Canto Blanco. It's a traditional area famed for its potatoes, sweet potatoes and other horticultural products, which are grown almost all year round thanks to the proximity to the sea, mild temperatures and plentiful sunshine. Algarrobo is home to people working in agriculture, fishing and tourism, which makes the village even more attractive. This results in a diversified development model, with cultural nuances thanks to the mix of agricultural and maritime professions.
We all know each other in Algarrobo and we've always lived off the land and the sea. We're also very unassuming, and even tourists are part of the village as they're usually families who come back year after year for their holidays. Despite being on the coast, the village retains its identity and very little urban development has taken place. For example, just a few metres from the beach you can find tomato plantations, ancient olive groves and fields of avocados and mangos.
Finca Ariza is a project that fuses innovation and tradition. The farm has been in operation ever since my great-grandfather's time. We've grown everything from potatoes and sweet potatoes to strawberries, tomatoes, peppers, beans and cucumbers. We still grow all these crops today, which are in decline around here due to the boom in tropical fruit, and we've recently started with Romanesco broccoli, pointed cabbage and Charentais melon. My great-grandfather was truly devoted to his work, dedicating his life to agriculture and eventually dying on the farm itself.
My father, Angelín Bueno, professionalised the management of the farm. He bought land off family members and expanded the farm to the point that it needed staff to operate. This is the case of Ángeles, who joined us when she was just eleven years old and is still with us at the age of fifty-six. There are twenty-three people in the team now. Each one specialises in a specific role, and they're paid according to the collective agreement and the complexity of their job. As for the cultural diversity of our team, the Costa del Sol has always attracted immigrants from Senegal in search of employment related to tourism and farming. We've got five Senegalese employees in total and we've helped them become legal in Spain, as well as helping them buy houses back home in order to make their families feel more stable.
The next step was when I joined the company. I spent several years working as an agricultural technician at companies in Mexico and Spain, and in 2010 I took over the farm to make our production organic and supply our own crops directly in order to sidestep the intermediation suffered by ordinary farmers. In this line of specialisation, we included Naturland certification in 2019, which saw us assess the importance of biodiversity in agriculture. As a result, we've grown hedges formed by Mediterranean plants, we've respected uncultivated areas, we've designed plant islands based on local shrubs, and we've improved water management, as Naturland helps us accurately determine the water needs of our crops and control spending.
Our farm gets water from the La Viñuela reservoir, and we also have our own wells located nearby. We use a drip irrigation system, which saves us a lot of water compared to the irrigation practices used years ago. In our case, one plant doesn't need more than 0.7 litres in each session.
As for the quality of the harvest, we select the crops at our own warehouse, where our team of packers discard any potatoes with damaged skin or any other symptoms of decay. We give these to farmers in our region so that they can use them as food for their livestock. We crush the by-products of our plants and incorporate them into the soil as organic matter, thereby closing the cycle without the need to generate waste.