Poggiarelli farm, which boasts 70 years of history, started organic farming in the 1990s

Never as in recent years we hear and read of the ecological alarm against our planet, health, and safety of every living species. In this perspective, an agricultural Company that deals with production with biological methods, therefore respectful of the environment in which it operates, is certainly appreciable. We are in the topical moment of the year for the production of citrus fruits, which we find almost everywhere, from the neighbourhood markets to the shelves of large-scale retail trade.

So, let us move to the west of Catania, to Mineo, and let us visit the certified organic farm Poggiarelli, which cultivates and produces under its own brand (http://poggiarelli.com/). This Company was founded almost 70 years ago, and since 1990 it began to be progressively managed with organic methods, thanks to both care and continuous updating from the owners, agronomists Giovanna and Emanuele Calvo.

The choice of the citrus fruit to be cultivated was oriented on oranges, lemons, clementines, tangerines, and grapefruits, in addition to olive trees for the production of organic olive oil. The lands of Poggiarelli extend for 28 hectares mainly in the territory of Mineo and in a minor part (3 hectares) in the countryside of Carlentini (Syracuse).

As required by the law, the Company is far from other production Companies and far from sources of environmental pollution; over the years it has reduced and then abandoned the chemical fight in favour of biological control, by using useful insects (Aphytis Melinus, used for the fight to strong red cochineal of citrus fruits, and Cryptolemus Montrouzieri, used for the fight against cochineal of citrus fruits). The throws of insects, purchased from Biofabbrica at Ramacca (Catania), are carried out between June and September. Furthermore, to prevent the multiplication of phytophagous insects harmful to crops, Poggiarelli also uses such substances of natural origin as biodynamic preparations based on garlic and nettle.

The fruit trees are rooted in a fertile soil, which in a few years of organic management has found all its own biodiversity, thanks to fertilizations with organic matter and biodynamic preparations instead of chemical fertilization.

Based on their long experience, Calvo family also highlight that organic farming requires more attention and commitment, because, as it does not use chemical pesticides, it relies heavily on prevention and observation of any environmental change that may affect biology of both harmful insects and useful ones. The use of biological technical means is certainly more expensive than chemical ones, and sometimes they do not fully eliminate the disease, but they temporarily block it, keeping it in a latent and sustainable condition.

Illustrazione realizzata da Simone Stricelli e Paolo Iammarino

Poggiarelli farm participates in ‘StorieBio’ on-line publishing project, which tells the production of some organic ingredients and foods that are most widely used in cuisine.
StorieBio is available on the following blogs:

Kaos Communication: bit.ly/KaosBio

Bioqualità: bit.ly/TutteLeStorie_StorieBio