The farm is called "Azienda Agricola Stefania Goio'' and is located in Rovasenda, in the province of Vercelli. We have been growing rice for 3 generations. We have been rice farmers since the mid-1950s. In 2012 I joined my father's company, Goio Piero, and in 2015 we decided not to use fertilisers and chemical herbicides anymore and started producing organically. We are a family farm and my father and I do the field work but in the busiest months we are helped by seasonal external collaborators with regular national contracts. We decided to produce sustainably because we care about people's health and the preservation of the environment.
Over the years we have experimented with many varieties of rice and other cereals. Our cultivation cycle is based on crop rotation; in fact, in the field where rice was grown the previous year, a herbaceous species (e.g. ryegrass) is cultivated, which is able to restore the soil. Our ancient cultivation method refuses the use of chemical substances for fertilizing, weeding and parasite control. Our method allows us to be self-sufficient without depending on external factors. Each hectare produces an average of 2.500/3.000kg of white rice per season.
The water we use to irrigate our land, which we take from the River Sesia, comes from the Cervo and Elvo streams, which originate in the glaciers of Monte Rosa. We rely on the "Consorzio di Bonifica della Baraggia Biellese e Vercellese" for accurate and precise water management. During sowing, the field is flooded for 4-5cm and this allows us to protect the seed from temperature changes that occur between night and day. The farm is certified as organic and we try to be as sustainable as possible in our production. Our rice is certified organic without the use of GMOs and comes from natural, high-quality seeds. Crop waste is used for sowing the following year and for mulching.
__How we grow rice__
The land, which in the summer was cultivated with grasses (Veccia and ryegrass) is sown with rice. The residues from the rice harvest are used for sowing the following year. This method allows us to always have natural seeds available. After sowing, we use our irrigation system to flood the rice paddy. During the germination of the rice we drain the water from the field and when the plant has grown enough we re-plant it. In August we drain the water for the last time.