Almendras Chirlata is a family project born out of respect for the land. Sustainability in all processes is therefore our top priority. And regenerating our environment is a necessity.
Being local producers connects us directly to the problems that intensive farming causes to ecosystems.
We experience first-hand the difficulties of small farmers in depopulated and unprotected rural areas who, powerless in the face of the overexploitation of resources by the large agri-food industries, struggle daily to reverse the depletion of our soils.
At Chirlata we were already aware of the advantages of organic farming, that’s why we have been cultivating under the European Union Organic Farming regulations since 2007 and we have the Kiwa organic production certificate.
But in addition to producing with the minimum environmental impact, bringing sustainability to all our processes, we know that it is necessary to go a step further and cultivate by giving back to the earth what it gives us.
What is regenerative agriculture?
Although there are no formal, regulated guidelines, as is the case with the green certifications, regenerative agriculture encompasses a set of techniques that aim to rehabilitate the soil and increase its fertility. The benefits are twofold: on the one hand, to increase the quality and quantity of production, and on the other hand, to contribute to the fight against climate change.
And many of these regenerative practices are what small rural farmers have done all our lives.
Regenerative practices at Chirlata
Almond trees are very hardy trees, but in a semi-desert area like the Altiplano de Granada, where it does not rain much (barely 500mm per year), it is vital to take care of one of our most valuable and scarce assets: water.
In Almendras Chirlata we carry out regenerative processes to maximise water uptake and retention. For example, we keep several ponds scattered around the farm and we have built ditches following the contours of the land and taking advantage of natural pools to better distribute the water in the crop.
We also try to slow runoff by maintaining perennial vegetation cover and cover crops. Tillage is minimal and shallow so as not to damage the soil. Native aromatic plants are allowed to grow in the tree lines, which not only mitigate erosion, but also serve as a refuge for the bees that visit us every year to pollinate and for other insects.
And to close the cycle, after the harvest we incorporate the almond shells and shredded pruning waste into the soil. This organic matter that returns to the soil, in addition to improving its fertility through the extra nutrients it receives, allows the soil to retain moisture better.
In line with other regenerative agriculture initiatives, such as AlVelAl, at Chirlata Almonds we are committed to regenerative family farming and sustainable food production, as well as rural development in our region.