Cortijo el Puerto, benchmark in ecology and innovation, has recently been certified by Demeter, the largest certification organization for biodynamic agriculture. A farm with Olive, Almond and Citrus grove, framed in a global biodiversity recovery and regeneration environmental project.
“A philosophy of life … a unique ecosystem”
Biodynamic agriculture entails a philosophy of life. It is a higher step in organic farming, for instance, it takes into account the cycles of the moon in the harvest or the way to obtain the compost.
By using these methods and procedures we focus to get a more rigorous organic farming. In this agriculture we seek to integrate plants with people and animals. Biodynamics could also be called an “organic Plus” agriculture. This is a model able to answer the great challenges that the agricultural sector is already facing: scarcer rainfall, more degraded soils due to abuse and neglect and a demand for higher quality food as well as long-term sustainability.understanding soils and ecosystem interactions, producing food in a healthier way and with higher quality.
The prevention measures, land care and soil protection, the way to control pests, harvest time… are determining factors for the organoleptic features, composition and quality of food.
Bio … what? a little bit of history.
Biodynamics, a word that will soon sound familiar to all of us. it was the first of the organic agriculture movements. Its development began in 1924 with a series of eight lectures on agriculture given by philosopher Rudolf Steiner at Schloss Koberwitz in Silesia (between Germany and Poland). It treats soil fertility, plant growth, and livestock care as ecologically interrelated tasks.
Taking the plunge to biodynamic was a natural step for us after working in organic farming for a while, considering the farm as an ecosystem where we can create optimal conditions in the soil and the farm, interrelating the different agents and enriching and balancing them.
Our management practices are intended to restore, maintain and enhance ecological harmony. We consider that our role in nature must be proactive, thus Cortijo el Puerto is committed to biodiversity. The prime objective is always to encourage healthy conditions for life”: soil fertility, plant and animal health, and product quality” [using the words of Florian Leiber, Nikolai Fuchs and Hartmut Spieß (2006)].
Our farm, Cortijo el Puerto, is conceived as an organism, a self-contained entity with its own individuality, and self-sustaining. Disease and insect control are addressed through botanical species diversity, predator habitat, balanced crop nutrition, and attention to light penetration and airflow.
We also use livestock manures to sustain plant growth (recycling of nutrients), maintenance and improvement of soil quality, and the health and well being of crops and animals. We also foster the biodiversity of both flora and fauna , and enhance the biological cycles and the biological activity of the soil.
There are nine different preparations to aid fertilization. These substances are numbered 500 through 508, where the first two are used for preparing fields, and the other seven are used for making compost.
In Cortijo el Puerto we know of the importance of botanical base and herbal pharmacopoeias, the relevance of the medicinal qualities of the plants.
Natural and beneficial bacteria in the soil or plants such as chamomile (Matricaria recutita), yarrow (Achillea millefolium) or nettle (Urtica dioica). Biodynamics also acknowledges sun. moon and other subtle cosmic forces and works with them throughout the growing cycle. this is what is called “the sowing and planting calendar”.
Innovation is here an ally. The ecology and innovation binomial, basic feature of Cortijo el Puerto provide an analytical, systematic, research and technology touch to biodynamic techniques and procedures, leading to a logical and measurable development. We work together with several Research Institutions. We are deeply committed to a goal of continuous improvement and lifelong learning. Over time, this way implies a strong cost savings, noticeable expansion of recycling and much more self-sufficiency (green & circular economy) and, above all, plant health, from the soil to the ripening of the almond and that is a guarantee of quality.
Of course, it entails a great effort, given the limitations that this implies. Nevertheless, working hard and deeply convinced of this way, we pulled it off. We are proud and happy to see the results and we invite you to come and check it out for yourself. Come and get to know our ecosystem.