My father and mother bought the farm in the late 1970s, when it already had apple and pear orchards. My father started to run the farm following the principles of organic farming as early as 1982, despite the fact that few believed in the idea at the time. Times have changed, organic food has taken root and since the introduction of the European certification, we have been certified.
So my family has been growing apples, pears and other fruits for two generations with love and dedication in the Non Valley, between the municipalities of Cles and Tuenno. The Non Valley is an inland valley with respect to the Adige Valley, the main connection axis between Italy and Germany. It is surrounded by mountains that measure over 2,000 metres, forests and pastures at medium and high altitudes and cultivated from 1,000 metres up to the valley floor. Summers that bring many hours of sunshine but with frequent rains and cold winters are the pedoclimatic conditions that give the unmistakable crunchiness to the apples. The apples cultivated here are so special that they have made this valley famous to the extent that while it was a poor area until 1950, today they have come to represent a significant source of income. This strong vocation over the years has led, especially on the valley floor, to the extension of plots of land that are not bordered by hedges or woods.
My farm consists of small plots of mainly apples and pears and in smaller quantities of cherries, apricots and other fruit trees enclosed in oases of biodiversity created by the sowing of flowers for pollinating insects, the grassing of the rows and the forest that surrounds each plot. This approach, in addition to protecting biodiversity, helps me to limit the damage caused by diseases that spread in larger conventional plots, where extension is a risk factor because, once it starts spreading, the disease does not find natural barriers that block its expansion.
Our trees need from between 600ml to 800ml of water. In the warmer months, my orchards also need to be irrigated. All plots have drip irrigation systems. We draw water from Lake Tovel (1,200 m) through a channel.
My father and mother are still helping me today. During the harvest period, which runs from the beginning of September to November, I have the help of my parents, my partner and two seasonal workers.
Thanks to our solar panels, we cover 80% of our electricity needs, including those of the cells where we store apples and pears once they have been harvested. On the farm, at the markets or through the web, I sell all my production directly to consumers and what I cannot sell, I transform into fruit juices.