Sicilian Passion was born from an old idea of my grandfather Antonino, who wanted to offer his customers the possibility to taste an exotic fruit that was grown nearby and does not come from tropical countries thousands of kilometres away, which would make the fruit lose its quality and taste. The fruit passion plant requires a lot of care, from working the soil in order to loosen it and freeing it of weeds, to pruning the branches and leaves in the spring in order to increase the size of the fruit and increasing its level of sweetness.
The name of the company "Sicilian Passion" derives from the same fruit that we have been cultivating since 2015 and in which we have specialised. As well as recalling part of the name of the fruit, it is intended to indicate our family's passion for agriculture, which to date has been handed down through three generations.
The passion fruit is cultivated on an area of about 10 hectares where we used to plant grapes and vegetables.
The farm is located in a strategic climatic zone because of its microclimate, which offers mild temperatures all year round. Behind us we have the mountains that offer us a light morning breeze during the day and in front of us we have the sea less than a kilometre away that mitigates the climate. The combination of these two factors means that temperatures in this area never fall below 6 degrees Celsius.
The company offers work to various people, from our own citizens to less fortunate people who have come to Italy from less developed countries in search of fortune, offering them a job and a roof to live under and a regular employment contract with all the services and rights included.
The water we use to irrigate our fields comes from spring water wells located within our own farm, and another part is granted to us by the water management consortium of the municipality of Licata. The plant needs a lot of water, especially in summer. We use drip irrigation to avoid any waste of water, and the pruning residues are used as mulch to reduce the transpiration of the soil. Electronic irrigation controllers with an automated system have been introduced to ensure a more efficient use of water.
Our farm has begun the process of converting to organic farming in 2021, already implementing sustainable cultivation, using fertilisers of natural and non-chemical origin as well as beneficial insects at certain times of the year. Moreover, we safeguard those present in the area, avoiding uprooting host plants. The grass is mown and no chemical herbicides are used to control it, and there are plans to use inter-row legumes to encourage natural fertilisation thanks to nitrogen fixation. At the same time the mulching effect helps to reduce soil transpiration.
As far as production waste is concerned, part of it is sent to the processing industry and with the other part we make jams that we sell under our own brand name. Some of the pruning residues are sold to cosmetic companies and some are used as mulch within the company.