Barduca invests in growing organic crops

Francesco Barduca has specialised in growing organic leafy vegetables. In his processing operation in Northern Italy the leaves and stalks are washed, trimmed and packed. Some of the vegetables come from organic farmers in the warm south of Italy, who are able to really score by supplying fresh produce in the winter months, the rest comes from Barduca himself.

Francesco Barduca has a greenhouse of about 2 hectares in which various leaf lettuce such as young spinach and rocket are grown. In addition to this, four years ago he managed to buy about 35 hectares of land close to his store, which was initially planted with alfalfa to build up the level of nitrogen in the soil. The soil improvement worked: at present various vegetables are grown organically there, including millet, soya beans, and other legumes. Every four years a new crop rotation is practiced to maintain soil fertility.

Francesco's passion for soil enables him to recognise potential, which he is fortunately able to realise. That is why he has been making investments in his business for some months in order to optimise operating procedures and forge ahead with organic farming. The store is being enlarged -- all the work on it is to be completed by next spring. They are also busy outside the store as well: in the greenhouses wood-pellet stoves are being installed -- the fuel for the stoves comes from renewables and should ensure constant production throughout the cool winter months of northern Italy as well. At present planting trials are being conducted on the open air site with cauliflower, savoy cabbage and radicchio.

Barduca is a real family business. Francesco's wife Anna and his daughters Alessia and Laura are an integral part of the Barduca business. With his wide range of organic products Barduca has become one of the most important Italian suppliers. Our BioTropic agricultural engineer Mauro Finotti has known Francesco for 10 years. Regular contact sharing ideas coupled with visits underpin this close and trusting business relationship between Italy and Germany.

Tags: Italy (GB), Mauro Finotti (GB), Rocket (GB), Spinach (GB)

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