Our organic farm is the result of the experience of generations of farmers, breeders and exporters. In fact in the 60s, in our town pf Ispica (RG), my grandfather Salvatore Milana began to cultivate the new carrots. This is one of the most important products of the Mediterranean food tradition, and he helped to develop the trade all over Italy. Then came my father Giovanni Milana, heir to the tradition and soon to become specialist. He is the current owner of the company (of the same name), and with help from myself and my brothers Salvatore and Ignazio, he manages an area of over 350 hectares of organic crops, all in open field.
The internal organisation and structure of our farm and business is similar to the Iblea "masseria": the houses, cultivation, processing, and marketing of the products all take place in the same location; the company headquarters. Attentive to the needs of the final consumer, driven by the evolution of the agricultural sector and projected by nature to the continuous improvement of the company, new facilities were built in 2000 for the packaging and storage of fresh fruit and vegetables.
The products are grown according to strict organic criteria, using natural fertilisers, some of which come from our own farm. The organic criteria and compliance with the standards dictated by the Agro Q certification body, and therefore the authenticity of the products, are enhanced by the location of our farm in Ispica. It is situated at the end of south-eastern Sicily between two seas. We sit at the foot of the Hyblean plateau in an ideal climate and far from industrial settlements. We are a stone's throw from Cava d'Ispica, 30km from Ragusa and 56km from Siracusa, and we are happy to welcome visitors from all over Europe who wish to visit us. A leading organic farm since 1992 with 350 hectares of crops, a family of agricultural entrepreneurs located on the magical island Sicily.
We use the method of 'copriculture' (green manure), which is an agronomic practice that allows us to maintain or even increase soil fertility by planting special crops such as legumes, cruciferous plants and grass in the soil. This system has improved the organic composition of the soil, which helps to slow down the erosion process and reduce drought because the humus in the soil retains water.
The area surrounding our farm is rich in local fauna. Flamingos, fish and reptiles can be found around the Longarini nature reserve, while hawks, rabbits, owls, wolves, foxes, cattle, pigs, goats and sheep can be found inland towards Modica. We combat the presence of pests that can damage the soil by introducing ladybirds, bumblebees, honeybees and other insects that help the soil become richer and healthier. We also use organic manure to feed the soil. Furthermore, we promote the natural growth of nettle, which is considered a natural soil disinfectant, and borage, whose flowers attract bees and ladybirds.
The water we use to irrigate our land comes from natural aquifers, and the irrigation systems scattered throughout the property are drip irrigation systems which are excellent to avoid wasting water. However, by constantly promoting the biodiversity of the environment through the introduction of specific plants and through green manure, the soil needs less irrigation as it is able to retain more water.
We use the weeds to feed our animals, which are free to graze in the fields after the harvest. Also, the presence of beneficial insects is encouraged by allowing grasses and wildflowers to grow. We are also completing a photovoltaic system to save energy.
On our farm we have 5 permanent workers plus seasonal workers, all hired with a regular employment contract. They all have an insurance policy for any accidents at work. If anyone asks to work in our company, they are always welcome.
The excess production is used by the processing industry. Shrivelled vegetables are used to produce animal feed or stored in a site to be composted and produce organic fertiliser.