Fuente la Gota is a quintessential family-run farm. My husband and I work on it to fulfil the dream of making a living from agriculture.
We're located one kilometre outside the village of Benamargosa, in the Axarquía region (Málaga). This area is known as the 'tropical shore', as it's one of the first areas where tropical fruits were grown in the EU.
Our farm sits at an altitude of two hundred metres above sea level, so we have stunning views of the riverbank, which is awash with the green of avocado, lemon, mango and vine orchards, as well as a panoramic view of the surrounding white villages and the Mediterranean Sea in the background.
The farm is approximately thirty years old, and the name Fuente la Gota comes from a well ("fuente" in Spanish) that used to be found here. Its water supplied local residents, both for the upkeep of their country houses and for the irrigation of the lemon trees on their farms.
At Fuente la Gota, in addition to mangos we have other trees such as avocado, orange, lemon, fig, almond, and even a couple of hundred-year-old carob trees. And best of all, we're home to a great variety of birds, including goldfinches and greenfinches. Thanks to our organic and sustainable practices, lots of animals have settled on and near the farm, such as reptiles like the chameleon (*Chamaeleo chamaeleon*).
The farm is divided in two by a stream that normally runs dry and which provides a natural corridor that gives shelter to numerous beneficial insects for our crops. The water on our farm comes from our well and we built a separate tank to store it. We also installed the entire drip irrigation system ourselves, which provides water for our trees and saves us a lot of money. For the energy supply of the farm, we only use companies that supply energy from renewable sources.
Since 2013, we've been working with an organic farming certificate. We knew we wanted this from the outset, even though we were aware that it would involve a lot more effort. The farm needs more hours spent on weed clearing, preventive treatments, manure application, pruning, etc. What motivated us the most was the idea of providing quality, environmentally friendly fruit free of pesticides and chemical fertilisers, thereby encouraging fauna and flora on the farm. We only use organic products to fertilise our trees and we contribute organic matter to improve the soil structure through pruning the trees and cutting the grass, meaning that we don't generate any waste.
We take advantage of everything at Fuente la Gota, which is why we use small or damaged fruit to make dehydrated fruit and sell the rest on to make jam. In general, mango cultivation generates most of the employment and economy in the area.