Los Arenalejos, in the Serranía de Ronda mountains, is the plantation in which Floreal Macarro has been growing for 20 years his incredible citrus and tropical fruits: to oranges and lemons we have thus to count mangoes and avocados.
Floreal was raised in the French Alps, after his father, a militant of the anarchist union CNT, was forced into exile after the civil war in Spain. The neighboring country was where the young man developed his interested for farming and where he finished his agronomy studies. "In the 80es, we decided to move to the countryside. We spent three years developing and preparing the project", he recalls. After exploring all the south of the Iberian peninsula, searching for a piece of land suitable for his project, Floreal settled down in Los Arenalejos, in the Serranía de Ronda mountains, between Alozaina and Coín. The white color of the valley's earth, traversed by rows of olive trees, explains the name of the nearby Biosphere Reserve Sierra de las Nieves -"Snow Mountains". The temperature, along with the large amount of sunshine, make this region perfect for growing tropical fruits as avocados and mangoes, as it happens also with Granada's tropical coastline. Neverthless, it's also ideal for other crops which were introduced in the Spanish territory in earlier ages, as lemons, oranges or tangerines. The community experience which was launched in Los Arenalejos in 1987 would mean one of the first ecovillages in Spain. In the CNT newspaper, an open call was published for more people to join the community. The project would be maintained through the 90es, being finally abandoned in the beginning of 2000. Only Floreal's family is now left in Los Arenalejos. There, they run also a country holiday house and organize workshops to teach pottery and other traditional activities. However, Los Arenalejos' jewel are, beyond any doubt, its avocado trees. Belonging to the Hass, Fuerte, Bacon and Pinkerton varieties, which are sensitive to the could due to the fact of being imported from Mexico, they are grafted on wild and very resistant varieties. The harvest usually starts in November -sometimes, even earlier-. Although it can be expanded through the whole year, the "strong season" extends between December and May. Floreal has managed to sell his production through French AMAPs -associations that strive to maintain traditional farming-, along with other farmers who are specialized on organic citrus fruits. Los Arenalejos markets every year more than 50.000 kilo of fruits, through its own fruit processing center. From now on, BBBFarming is betting on the delicious taste of Acción Fruta's citrus and tropical fruits, as a part of its project to bring organic rural products close to every corner of Europe: Edible Organic Europe.