Our cooperative is called Ecopistacho, as we only work with eco-friendly products and pistachios are our main product. That said, some members grow almonds, vines and other products.
At Ecopistacho we're all united by respect for the land and agricultural principles based on respect for the environment. To give you some details about how we work the land, we thought we'd talk about one of our favourite farms, Las Majaneras. In the past, the Farmers here used to set aside the stones or mounds of soil that hindered their work, forming large mountains that are known as 'majaneras' in Spanish, hence the name of the farm.
Most of the farms are in Alcázar de San Juan (Castilla-La Mancha), as are our pistachio drying facilities. Farming is one of the main driving forces of the economy around here, so the operation of our cooperative provides employment and contributes to the area's economic health.
Our farms are surrounded by typical Mediterranean vegetation, such as thyme, rosemary, scorpion broom and holm oak, which are home to lots of living beings. There are also other crops such as vines, olive groves and saffron around here. We have some honey beehives that help maintain our varied wild ecosystems, the existence of this wonderful insect and the pollination of crops such as almond trees.
Our trees are watered by the rain, but rainfall is sometimes so low that we have water our trees. Las Majaneras has an underground drip irrigation system (which minimises water evaporation) for when our trees need extra water. Our area sits on one of the richest underground aquifers in Spain, so we have water from our own well that we pump out with solar energy.
Our cultivation and production processes don't generate any waste products. For example, pruning remains are shredded and added into the soil, the outer skin of the pistachio is used to make compost, and we used any closed pistachios to make pistachio paste.