The history of my family is linked to the world of agriculture, specifically the production of durum wheat. With so much love for nature, and a great respect for the land, for generations my family has been able to hand down from father to son one of the noblest arts of wheat cultivation. The Lenato farm, on the hills of Caltagirone, was founded in 1929 by my grandfather Gaetano, who not only grew durum wheat but also vegetables and fruit. In recent years we have specialised in the cultivation of durum wheat and its processing, from the milling of the wheat to the production of the pasta. We do this strictly on our own farm and under an organic system so as to guarantee complete traceability without the help of intermediaries.
Pastificio agricolo Lenato was founded in 2012, based on an idea that my brother Alessio and I had, which was to transform the durum wheat grown on our land into a high quality artisan dry pasta. The company's history spans three generations: from my grandfather Gaetano who bought the first hectare of land in the centre of the current farm, to my father Giuseppe who expanded the number of hectares cultivated with the strong ambition of becoming a great landowner, and finally us, two brothers who decided to make the delicacies produced by our family known all over the world. The pasta factory was built just a few metres from the farm, totally surrounded by nature and far from industrial areas or near large cities. The production takes place in a natural way, processing of the flour at low temperatures, with the use of pure and certified water. Bronze drawing makes the pasta very rough, and it is dried for 15-16 hours. We can produce around 1,400 kg of pasta per day, and it is packaged in 500 g bags.
Pasta is a hygroscopic food that absorbs everything around it, especially during the drying phase. The factory being located in the middle of the countryside is great because the pasta cannot suffer any external contamination from pollutants such as fine dust or smog.
The products are grown following strict organic criteria and using natural fertilisers from our own farm. The organic standards, and the respect of the rules dictated by the control body Suolo e Salute, guarantee the genuine quality of our products.
We use the green manure method, which is an agronomic practice that makes it possible to maintain or even increase soil fertility by planting particular crops such as legumes, crucifers, or grasses. This system has improved the organic composition of our soil and this in turn helps to slow down erosion and reduce drought because the humus in the soil retains water.
The area surrounding our farm is rich in local fauna. There are many species of birds and wild animals. We combat the presence of pests that can damage the soil by introducing ladybirds, bumblebees, bees, and other beneficial insects that help the soil to become richer and healthier. We also use organic manure to feed the soil and promote the natural growth of nettle, which is considered a natural soil disinfectant, and borage, whose flowers attract bees and ladybirds.
For the cultivation of durum wheat, especially in southern Italy, there is no need to provide water through irrigation because its cycle coincides with the winter period which is the rainiest time of the year. We use natural pastures to feed our animals, which are free to graze in the fields, and this favours the presence of beneficial insects while allowing grasses and wildflowers to grow.
In our company we have 5 permanent workers, plus seasonal workers, and all are employed with a regular work contract. They all have an insurance policy for possible accidents at work as well. If anyone asks to work on our farm, they are always welcome.
The surplus production is used by the livestock industry as animal feed, or left to mature in special areas and composted to produce organic fertiliser.