Peter Lorenzo Tega he is now 42 years old and has an interesting life choice that we want to tell: he worked for about fifteen years in thebuilding with an eye on environmental issues, skills that he has been able to exploit in a very different company.
Today, in fact, Pietro left the computer to take up the hoe and carry on thefarm founded by his father Davide forty years earlier (mid-70s) and becoming owner from 2016.
Tell us about yourself, about how you chose to grow Aronia berries and about your company
L'Tega Farm has existed for several decades, family-run (dad Davide, mom Paola, children Sarah, Pietro and Sofia), on its twenty hectares of property are grown wheat, corn, soy, alfalfa, triticale, as well as a part dedicated to woods coppice.
In 2009, during a trip to German-speaking Switzerland to visit family friends, we got to know one small local agricultural fair of Aronia (aronia melanocarpa), bringing home a plant.
Intrigued, we read more about this shrub and we were amazed to read about it countless and extraordinary properties of aronia berries.
In 2011 (one year before leaving office life), the family decided to undertake a diversification of production, introducing a cultivation of berries, predominantly blueberry but also blackberries and raspberries, and of course Aronia, which at the time was practically unknown in our country as a fruit intended for food.
Since I left my business as a surveyor, I immediately invested a lot of energy and resources in the development of this new type of crops: about every two / three years I have doubled the orchards; contextually I also set up a direct sales point in the company and today we are close to reaching 10.000 square meters of small fruits.
What does it mean to cultivate with passion, in full respect of nature?
L'love for nature, respect for its balance and its resources spontaneously led me to set up this type of cultivation in a biological way from the beginning, using some of our land that had been dormant for over a decade; the exclusive use of naturally derived fertilizers is another factor of great importance.
Water also plays a fundamental role and here I have created several systems for recovering rainwater, which is then distributed through drip irrigation, aimed at a more efficient and conscious use of water resources, limiting the depletion of aquifers.
The whole is powered by a photovoltaic system exclusively dedicated to the operation of the pumps and cold rooms for the conservation of the collected products.
In 2021 we will achieve the Organic certification for our wild berries, an important step to guarantee the quality of our products, because in the end we are really what we eat.
Grow what they call superfoods, health beneficial foods - how do you choose them?
We had had some in the garden for over twenty years blueberry plants who have always given us delicious fruits, the choice to start growing berries was born from a very simple reason, all of us in the family have always been greedy!
Of course, betweenhave some plants in the garden or instead a few thousand in the orchards, the commitment and the problems change considerably. Berries can give the idea of hardy plants, easy, but that's not the case at all and getting a marketable product really takes a lot of effort.
There are many adversities and problems: diseases, harmful insects (popilia, bedbugs, etc.), birds (greedy for berries!), Hail (which in two minutes can destroy an entire year). So we pondered many pros and cons why the risk of a flop can be very real.
Aronia berries: tell us more about this fruit that is still "mysterious" for many?
L'Aronia is a bushy shrub, originally from eastern North America and introduced in Europe in the early 900s. Very common in the Soviet Union and in the countries of Eastern Europe, the aronia here is well known for its health properties.
The plant prefers a basically acidic, humid soil, it does not tolerate hot summers. Like all fruit trees, to obtain a good production, it needs regular fertilization and pruning, the berries ripen in autumn.
As the most common American giant blueberry, theBlack chokeberry has extraordinary antioxidant properties, is the plant that contains the most anthocyanins overall (five times more than Goji berries!), polyphenols, flavonoids, which counteract the formation of free radicals, therefore thecellular aging.
E' very rich in iron, (100 g of dried berries contain 93% of the recommended daily dose), has anti-inflammatory, vasoprotective properties, contains vitamins A, C, E and K, numerous mineral salts and a high content of Chinese acid (drinking pure juice helps purify the urinary tract by promoting the elimination of infections).
It can be eaten fresh or dried, dipped in yogurt (perhaps with the addition of muesli and a drizzle of honey), you can also make smoothies, extracts, jams, herbal teas, juices, ice creams, cakes, snacks.
In the country the cultivation of Aronia berries is not widespread ...
As soon as you cross the Alps, as in Switzerland, Austria, Germany, the Aronia is really well known and consumed. THU, between Piedmont and Lombardy, we are not aware of other companies that have decided to grow this berry, having started in 2011 we consider ourselves a bit of the pioneers in this sense.
But we have testimonials, provided by some of our consumer customers, that in Trentino it is not uncommon to find dried berries served during breakfast in hotels, perhaps this trend is due precisely to the fact that that region is strongly affected by the eating habits of neighboring Austria.
How do you market Aronia berries?
Aronia, as well as all our other berries, we sell them at our company store in Landiona (No), via per Carpignano Sesia, 71. During the harvesting period we sell it fresh, or dried or made into compotes and juices concentrates (90% fruit), obtained by cold pressing to keep all its properties intact.
Our clientele is mostly private but we serve regularly fruit and vegetable shops, ice cream parlors, pastry shops, restaurants, in short, all those realities that can make use of these fruits. We are a zero kilometer reality much appreciated, at the moment we do not supply the large distribution but in the future we do not exclude it.
Who was interested, può chiamare questi numeri: 3494352838 (Pietro) o 3774343054 (Sarah), oppure scrivere a firstname.lastname@example.org.
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