My name's María Martínez Hijano, an agricultural engineer by profession and a farmer by vocation. I've always been surrounded by fields, trees and nature, as I grew up in a farming family. As kids, I remember that my sister and I used to accompany my father out onto the farm, and then we'd play hide and seek, look for rare flowers and climb hills and trees while he was working. During the holidays, we'd go to the countryside with my grandparents and play among avocado trees. At the end of summer, when it was raisin season, we'd sit with them outside the house with a board and some small scissors to destem raisins, while spending the afternoon listening to their stories. We've always loved this world.
When it was time to think about further education, I decided to study Agricultural Engineering. After graduating, I decided to do a 2-year Master's Degree in Agronomy so that I could become a better professional, discover new things and understand how agroecosystems work, as agriculture is a fascinating and complex world.
In 2017, I stared running the family farms. The first thing I did was to convince my parents and my uncles to begin the transition to organic farming. Back then, we only had organic lemon farms, so I thought it was time to put all my university knowledge into practice and implement the type of agriculture that best represents my values. By doing this, I took advantage of my great luck of belonging to the fifth generation of a farming family.
In 2020, we started direct sales via CrowdFarming with our mangos, which have been a huge success! Thanks to the support you give us via CrowdFarming, we've been able to grow and innovate towards a style of farming that is increasingly integrated with the environment. What's more, it's really motivating to receive your messages on social media and your visits, where you appreciate the quality of our fruit and all the hard work behind it. This model is a win-win for everyone. We have price stability and can plan the harvest, while you also enjoy price stability, premium quality products and the satisfaction of knowing who's behind production. Thank you!
The Los Pepones project is a family project formed by an excellent human team. My job on the farms is to plan technical management. To produce high quality fruit, it's paramount to pay attention to all the details of the trees, such as checking whether they have any type of nutritional deficiency or excess, controlling pests efficiently and organically, planning the use of fertilisers, stipulating irrigation times, and monitoring when the fruit flowers, sets and is ready for harvest. My uncle is in charge of organising the farm team and my sister and my parents manage the administrative side. Natalia works in the warehouse and she'll take CrowdFarmers around the farm if I can't make it. The farm team is responsible for implementing all the plans: they apply the fertiliser, control the irrigation times, control weeds with a brush cutter, tractor or livestock, perform the necessary treatments, and collect the fruit. We're all important and every detail counts so that you can receive the best fruit possible.