These days we harvest our organic almonds at Cortijo el Puerto.
A small serenade, the breeze, cicadas by day and crickets by night, accompany our blue harvester by the rows of almond trees.
This post tells a little bit of the story…
Our young almond trees are organic by birth, from the very beginning, according to Cortijo el Puerto philosophy that combines Ecology and Innovation.
Our almond crops in hedgerow system have been issued the organic certification, granted by the CAAE (Andalusian Committee of Ecological Agriculture). This recognition adds to the other major crop of the farm, the Olive, also Organic certified.
The innovative hedgerow system has multiple advantages:
– Reduction of harvesting costs.
-Fully mechanized harvest.
– Reduces pruning work, and enables automated harvesting with the same harvester as the olive tree.
- varieties of late flowering
- high productivity, highlighting the quality of the fruit and a high ease of training and pruning
-Bio: Creating hedgerows it is great way to have harmony in the Orchard because of the diversity of wildlife they attract. Hedgerows are mixed plantings of trees, shrubs, annuals, perennials and ground covers that provide nectar, food or fruit to bring diversity to our Ecosystem at Cortijo el Puerto.
- Provides covers for fauna (also one plus for us). There are many native species of wildlife that rely on these areas as a way of travelling.
- Increases the habitat resource availability for essential wildlife, including species that undertake pollination or act as natural controllers of other pest species, contributing to biological control and thus, reducing the need of pesticide usage.
-In summary, The provision of trees and hedgerows can deliver numerous benefits economically, ecologically and environmentally.
Quality, Ecology and Innovation are core features of Cortijo el Puerto.
We are already known and awarded for the excellent olives harvested using New Holland the Braud 9090X Dual, harvester that with small adjustments have been adapted to the characteristics of the almond tree in hedgerow system. For those interested in machinery, we tell you that these harvesters are distinguished by having two areas of vibration, one superior with a more intense agitation and the other less intense. They combine both curved rods and straight rods.
But let’s go back to our story…
In 2013 we became the first farm in Andalusia to introduce this new system based on two innovations: the first, rootpac 20, result of the research of Agromillora, world leader in the nursery sector.
The plum hybrid (Prunusbesseyi x Prunuscerasifera) is endowed with a dwarfing pattern that converts any variety of almond tree that is grafted, into almond trees of low vigor, with the consequent adaptation to hedgerow formation. This allows early maturity and production, reduces pruning work, and enables automated harvesting with the same harvester as the olive tree.
The harvested varieties are results from the research of the CITA of Aragon: Isabelona and Soleta whose objective was to obtain a similar fruit to the varieties most valued by consumers, Marcona and Desmayo largueta, but including multiple improvements in the field in terms of agronomic management: like late flowering avoiding the early and self-fertile frosts, thus allowing pollination without the need to cross pollen of different varieties. At the same time, traditional varieties such as Lauranne, Ferraduel and Guara have also been worked on.
In Cortijo el Puerto we rely on organic farming. We like to define ourselves as a project of environmental sustainability and ecosystem regeneration in which high quality and nutritious food products are also produced.
In addition, in alliance with technology, we incorporate Precision Agriculture to make farming an intelligent rural area. Aerial images with diverse information about the plantation are obtained, the crops are managed remotely and in real time, and the intervention is carried out with the accuracy of a surgeon. Sowing, tillage and harvest are done respecting the rhythms and principles that ensure the health of the soil and plants, and, in a derivative way, produce a healthy nutrition for animals and for human beings.
The harvest becomes the end of a long journey of research, work, effort and affection, a story that today we have invited you to know a little more in Cortijo el Puerto.