“Plowing the land is a degenerative practice even though for the peasants plowing is genetic”

Farmer Francesc Font maintains that “plowing the land is a degenerative practice, despite the fact that, for the peasants, plowing is genetic”. He says this with certainty as a militant of regenerative agriculture, which has taken him from the Empordà to Australia and now to Menorca, from where he spreads the seed of knowledge with the example of the farms he runs, Son Felip i Algaiarens . “Stopping plowing also led me to confront my family, in which I represent the ninth generation,” he says.

When you stop plowing the land, the animals and plants do the work. A land is alive if when we sink our hand we find all the living beings that populate it. It is these living things that will feed the animals that will graze there, which, with their excrement, will fertilize it even more. “Regenerative agriculture wants to restore the fertility of the soils we have been destroying for fifty years “says Font, who has published books to explain it (Rooted in the ground from Paper Tiger) and has now also set up an academy, where he will broadcast videos to make the speech known.

To regenerate the land, then, it is essential to have animals. “On the Son Felip i Algaiarens farm we have two hundred heads of red cows from Menorca, with which we do not make milk, but we need them because their excrement generates an impact on the land,” says Font. He explains the process quickly to the farm he runs, and stands in front of the movable henhouse: “In this enclosure where we now have the hens, there were before the cows, which left excrement, which have been biting the hens because they find protein, which they have eaten and also spread it on the ground.”.

After a few weeks, they move the henhouse again, and the process begins again. “There is plant growth, therefore more plants, which are food for animals, and with this practice we get that in each hectare we capture four times more carbon than what we emit on the farm with all the work we do there,” says Font .

The enclave, the flower with which Francesc Font makes honey on the Son Felip estate.

The field where the chickens are is full of greenery and so-called flowers encloves, which the farmer assures are exceptional for all their properties. To begin with, in addition to being the legume that feeds the chickens, it is also the flower with which it makes a honey that has already earned it awards. In addition, it is the plant that is responsible for fixing nitrogen from the air to the soil thanks to bacteria that live in its root. “This saves me the purchase of fertilizers, such as urea, which are currently very expensive with widespread price increases.” In addition to the savings on products bought for the land, production is not declining compared to conventional production. “And, in return, the bottom line is that the eggs produced by chickens have more nutritional value. ”says Font, who states that the dozen eggs are sold at the market for six euros, ie 0.50 cents per egg: “We sell them all, and if we had more, we would sell more.”

Following the price of eggs, Font points out the importance of eating well, and therefore “pay for what the food is worth ”, because this is how“ farmers can live and work ”, and above all there are no“ environmental costs ”. In addition, regenerative agriculture is also holistic, and as a result “the farmer must be proactive, so if you can go and sell the eggs yourself, do it, look for new channels to sell them.”

Finally, Son Felip is also known for the production of organic olive oil, which has also won awards in recent years, although it has only recently been on the market. Each liter costs twenty euros, and on the island is considered a prestigious olive oil, which is present in many restaurants. “I still remember when I arrived in Menorca and wanted to make organic oil; I was told it was impossible. ” Achieved the dream, thanks also to its own mill on the same estate, the next challenge is to get a Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) seal of organic oil from Menorca, because currently the Son Felip olive oil label says “oil from Spain”.

Chef Joan Roca closed the Arrels de Menorca fair.

Fira Arrels, the showcase for producers who love Menorca

The Roots Fair in Maó , which began on Saturday 30 April and ended on Sunday 1 May, has become the best showcase for the island’s producers in five years. Chef Joan Roca was in charge of closing the fair with a talk in which he explained the projects of the Celler de Can Roca, among which is Sembrant el Futur, with which they work to recover lost seeds.

Source: Ara.cat – Portada by mengem.ara.cat.

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