Organic cherries from the Jerte Valley
A whole life working on the cherry-orchards and 13 years dedicated to organic agriculture.

I am Paco and I produce organic cherries in the Jerte Valley, in the north of the Extremadura region. I work on this during the whole year, but two or three persons come to help me with the harvest, though. In order to sell the product, I'm associated with other farmers through the Tierra Sana non profit organization, which we use to distribute our organic cherries and to get a fair price for our work.

I have been doing this my whole life, since I was small, but I started organic farming 13 years ago. The people who engage with organic agricultare it's because we have reached it through our particular vision of life and nature. It's not just talking, we believe in the necessity of producing food in a way that respects nature and benefits health -not only of the consumers, but of the earth-. There are big companies that come up with lines of organic products, because they see it as a chance for business, but that is definitely not our case.

Producing cherries in an organic way has the same singularities as the farming of any other crop withour using chemical product. The treatment we give to the soil, for instance, is completely different from the one used in conventional agriculture. We use only plants, by which I mean, extracts or slurries we prepare with them. Nowadays, as an example, I am experimenting with decoctions of nettle, comfray or horsetail... And I will go on trying. As a farmer, my aim is to remain as independent as possible from the suppliers. The world is changing in a way that even the big companies of chemical products are patenting organic products. In the meanwhile, we have to find our own ways.

I do not only produce cherries, in my orchards many other kinds of fruits grow, even if it's just for on-farm consumption. Some day eventually I would like to raise the production of them too: I have chestnuts, plums, oranges, tangerines...

As of yet, in Tierra Sana we collaborate with companies which focus on organic products, small Spanish and foreign supermarkets, consumer groups... In Extremadura population is so small and there is such a little consumption, that we are forced to use all the gates that are open. We would prefer to work just with consumer groups and box schemes, but most of them are in the big cities. We are far away, and they have local producers who are more close to them.

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From the city to the fields, building an online platform to close the gap between organic farmers and city slickers in transition.
Asociación Cultural GuerrillART-ACTYVA, S. Coop. 2013 -