Adolfo Arias

Cultivos Orgánicos

Hi, I’m Adolfo Arias and I grow organic mandarins for Nature & More. My company is called Cultivos Orgánicos. Thank you for buying our fruit!

 

We are based in Peru around 100 km to the north of the capital city Lima. Thanks to the Huara river and the Santa Rosa irrigation project which was set up in the late 60’s, this valley is now a rich agricultural region. To me organic agriculture means working with nature. Plants and trees are living organisms just like human beings: they tell you what they need, all you need to do is able to know how to understand them.

We grow a number of varieties of mandarins: Satsuma Okitsu, a big local favourite. Then we have the Satsuma Owari, which has great colour and taste. We also grow the Malvasio variety that has a lot of seeds but has a great taste. Furthermore we grow Minneola’s, a cross between a grapefruit and a mandarin, and avocado’s.

Here at Cultivos Orgánicos, we employ 40 permanent workers and during the season an additional 60. The workers come from other parts of Peru including the mountains and jungle.

How ‘bout taste?

Adolfo’s Satsuma mandarins are very sweet and very tasty; they have a higher solid content than conventional Satsuma’s, which means more taste (if you want to know exactly: BRIX 10 instead of 8,5).

Interview with Adolfo

 

Nature & More: How did you start with organic farming ?
Adolfo: To be honest, it was my father who took the first steps down the organic path. In the late eighties he became suspicious of all the chemicals he was spraying onto his fruit and no longer wanted to feed his family with such products.  As a consequence he stopped using them.

Nature & More: What happened next?
Adolfo: I took over the farm in 2003 and during that period did a lot of research on different agricultural methods.  I was convinced that my father’s choice was the right one, however, we did have significant problems with insects and pests.  In 2004 we started introducing natural predators (other insects that eat the bad ones !) and slowly became an organic farm without official certification.  We were one of the first in Peru so we had to basically invent the wheel ourselves. We got the hang of things and were pleased with the progress so a few years later we started “officially” converting to organic agriculture. Since 2010 we are officially organic and selling our delicious fruits to customers in Europe.

Nature & More: What Fruits do you grow ?
Adolfo: We grow a number of varieties of mandarins including Satsuma Okitsu an early variety with a thin skin and no seeds (a big local favourite). Then we have the Satsuma Owari which has a great colour and taste.  We also grow the malvasio variety which, despite the seeds is my personal favourite.  Furthermore we grow Minneola (a cross between a grapefruit and a mandarin) and Hass and Fuerte avocados.  

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