Our Finca is called "Los Córdoba", so named because of the Cordoba family who has owned this farm for over 100 years. Nearby is the Río Seco Bajo ("dry river"). The river is actually dry, it contains only water when it rains. Tropical fruit is cultivated all over the region. It is nice that most of the farms in the area are certified organic and are environmentally conscious. With the generational change, my husband has started farming as secondary employment. Back then, fruit was simply cultivated and sold, without giving much importance to the potential of the farm. This changed about 10 years ago when we started up the artisan jam project. My knowledge and professional experience in the food industry helped me to successfully implement this step.
Depending on the season and plant, additional irrigation may be necessary. The annual rainfall in our region is about 450 mm. It hardly rains in summer. For the irrigation, we use registered wells and pump the water from a water reservoir above the Finca. We use the difference in altitude to irrigate the water by drip irrigation directly to the plant. This means that considerably less water evaporates. The climate of the region is mild enough so that the tropical plants can also overwinter without damage. Only the papayas suffer with mild winter, but do not die.
In order to use only the required amount of fertiliser, we rely on slant and soil analyses. Normally we fertilize - according to need - with organic certified natural products such as liquid manure, phosphorus, and potassium.
To control pests and plant diseases, take into account that not all insects or microorganisms are harmful. We use appropriate remedies, such as pheromones against fruit flies, biological control of mites, oil against cochineal, etc.
The farm is maintained by three people; Antonio, our farmer, Alberto, my husband, and myself. But of course, we also have animals, such as chameleons.
Antonio was already working on the farm when we started the project. He comes from an area in Almuñécar called Gelibra. He has always been known as a farmer. He proudly claims that he was born under an avocado tree!
Antonio likes working with us very much, especially because we do not use pesticides. He is self-employed and also works on his own farm in Gelibra. During the harvest period, one or two friends of his help us.
When it is time to harvest, we select the most beautiful fruits for direct selling. The fruit which is damaged or misshapen but still has the highest quality and taste, we use for our manufacture.
I am responsible for the production of the jams, which are made in our 60m2 manor house. There we have the necessary machines for processing. Although we are a small company, we have the certificate for processing of foodstuffs by the Spanish authority for Food Safety and the Andalusian Ecological Commission. Both in the factory and in the farm, all by-products are reused. For example, green waste from pruning is crushed and left in the field. They are not burned, which means lower particle emissions and higher soil fertility results.