The name of our project is a play on words in Catalan: "nou" means new, and "jou" means yoke, a wooden instrument that was once placed on the neck of mules to guide the rudder of the plough. At KnowJou we combine the know-how of ancient generations of farmers with the most sustainable knowledge and strategies of today. Our "know-how" is based on the past without losing sight of the future. We are strongly and sincerely committed to organic farming and respect both tradition and the environment.
One of the biggest risks for those of us who grow fruit trees are late frosts and summer storms, both of which are highly variable over a short geographical distance. Having our crops spread over small farms at different altitudes and orientations, although quite close to each other, helps us to minimise the risks. In our region, however, smallholdings reign supreme and there are few large farms.
The farms are located on the slope that joins the Alguaire plateau and the Lleida plain. They are surrounded by forest, providing excellent pollination thanks to the biodiversity. They also receive natural water from the Pyrenees. Watering is carried out by drip irrigation, with intelligently programmed systems to optimise water management. On average, our fruit trees need about 600 litres of water per year.
All our farms are certified as organic farming by the CCPAE, following the Organic Farming regulations of the European Union. We choose to let the grasses grow to promote well-rounded biodiversity, full of beneficial microorganisms and insects that help create a self-regulating ecosystem. While many farmers have problems with rabbits eating the newly planted trees and the shoots of some young trees, we have found that by leaving them with pruning waste and a good cover crop they have enough food to not need to feed on our fruit trees, and so we live in harmony.
At KnowJou we are a permanent team of 4 people, working together for more than 10 years. We have Global Gap and Grasp certifications that demonstrate our good practices in the field and with our work teams. During peak periods, especially during the harvest, we employ temporary workers, who are paid fairly and who are looked after as if they had been with us all their lives, so that they will want to come back every year.
Our production generates practically no waste, as everything is used for the production of organic preserves and juices, the best preserves being those of Albert's grandmother, who still makes spectacular fruit in syrup.