Seasonality of fruit and vegetables: a millennia old secret




Immagine della serra di pomodori cuore di bue

Agricultural production

Seasonality of fruit and vegetables: a millennia old secret




April 26, 2020

There are many reasons why eating seasonal fruit and vegetables is important. Not only for our health and the environment, but also for the taste of agricultural products. Seasonality means respecting the cycle of the elements in nature. Only with this enormous wealth in mind will we be able to enjoy the genuine taste of the fruits of the earth.

In this article we will see at what time of year it is possible to expect some vegetables and how long before they are sown.

Why choose seasonal fruits and vegetables

Quality

The reasons in favour of seasonal fruit and vegetables are different, and all in favour of the consumer.First of all, the organoleptic characteristics of vegetables are beneficial. The active ingredients and nutrients are in fact present in greater quantities; the taste is also much better, in terms of intensity and sweetness. The high perishability of our agricultural products is certainly a disadvantage from the point of view of conservation. However, adhering to the principle of seasonality also means enjoying the freshness of the vegetables, which must be consumed in a short time.

Savings

Another great reason is economic. The concept of seasonality is close to that of production and sale from farm to table, which guarantees the narrowing of the distance between the farmer and the consumer. This inevitably leads to a reduction of expenses - especially those related to transport - and therefore to a lower final cost of agricultural products.

Even when there is an intermediary, and in our case it is always and only one - supermarkets or wholesalers - who buys is protected by the label. This obliges us, in the case of basil PDO for example, to also indicate in which greenhouse the seedlings have been harvested.

Environment

Seasonal products are less expensive also because their processing is easier: the farmer does not need so much, if nature provides to feed the land independently.

Finally, there is the environmental reason. We are well aware, in fact, of how much the transport needed to guarantee us fruit out of season affects CO2 emissions.

To sum up, the advantages of seasonality concern various aspects:

 

  1. Quality and health: seasonal products have greater nutritional and organoleptic properties, this is even a benefit of health
  2. Savings: by lowering transport and storage costs, the price for the final consumer is reduced
  3. Environment: buying seasonal products means reducing transport CO2 emissions
  4. Territory: seasonality is closely linked to the farm to fork principle, and therefore enhances the local economy and production

Picture of some oxheart tomatoes

The seasonality calendar of our vegetables

All our products are in season. Only Genoese basil PDO, in accordance with the provisions of the specification, is produced all year round in greenhouses. The other vegetables follow the natural cycle of the seasons, including the oxheart tomato, also grown in greenhouses. Below we propose a scheme to understand the calendar of our fruit and vegetables.

All year round:

Spring-Summer:

Winter-Spring:

Autumn:

  • Zucchini trombette
  • Oxheart tomatoes

Picture of our artichoke field

 

The production techniques of our seasonal fruits and vegetables

The climate of our region allows us to guarantee the availability of our vegetables for a long time. The ox heart tomatoes and zucchini trombette, for example, even span three seasons. The sowing of agricultural products naturally takes place some time earlier:

  1. January: oxheart tomatoes (planted a second time also at the beginning of June)
  2. April-May (and mid-July): zucchini trombette
  3. June: aubergines and peppers
  4. August: artichokes
  5. October: broad beans

Basically, we do not treat our land differently than our grandparents did. Surely the experience gained over the years and the technology comes to our aid. In particular, we are followed by an agrotechnician, who every 10 - 15 days checks the health of our plants and decides whether to intervene to improve their performance, with the help of fertilizers allowed in organic farming.

Our basil, for example, undergoes periodic checks so that it can maintain its PDO denomination; for tomatoes grown in greenhouses, we rely on bumblebees to fertilize the plants, and not on artificial hormones; broad beans and artichokes do not need much attention, since insect activity is practically zero during the season in which these vegetables grow.

Over the years, we have increased the frequency with which we prune tomatoes, through mechanical work - known as sifting - which takes time and effort, but is absolutely beneficial in terms of yield.

During cloudy days we often check the humidity in the basil greenhouses. To prevent the onset of diseases due to stagnation, we guarantee the airing and let the soil dry.

Finally, we pay attention to the condition of the weeds and grass. If these elements are harmful to tomatoes and basil we must eliminate them immediately, we leave these plants free to grow in the fields of artichokes and broad beans because they protect the vegetables from the sun and preserve their tenderness.

Picture of some of our artichokes

 

In this difficult period due to the Coronavirus emergency, the fruit and vegetables of Agriturismo Le Girandole arrive directly at your home. To book the home delivery please do not hesitate to contact us !

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