Small citrus growers for generations
with an eye toward what’s next
I am a small farmer growing high quality, tasty citrus in Eastern Sicily. The land is located in Francofonte, a small village in between Catania and Syracuse. We have several parcels of land located in 3 main areas - Squarcia, Carbone and Favarotta - that contribute to the total of 1,5 hectares roughly.
The farm is best known for Tarocco oranges. The farm also grows lemons and olives for the production of extra vergin olive oil, does value added products such as citrus marmelades and processes capers in salt and origano. Over the years the farm has evolved, reaching new markets and customers, ie individuals, families and associations in Luxembourg and Belgium.
I am dedicated to growing quality produce, while the farm is not certified organic, I follow organic practices, using absolutely no harmful chemicals in production. I go even further since I use agroecological practices which means supporting biodiversity, rebuilding soil fertility and sustaining yields over time.
My family has been growing Tarocco oranges for three generations. I remember watching my dad do all the work in the orchards himself and I learned by doing with him and watching the nature.
For many decades, we used to sell our produce to local intermediaries who made big profits, as they set their own price. When my father retired, for me it was quite obvious to take over the family orchards even though the citrus market was in crisis.
Inspired by the challenge of achieving sufficient autonomy to sell our production at a fair price, we took several steps in that direction.
It came the idea for a seasonal delivery service in Luxembourg, where my daughter Imma still lives. We thus started direct selling our locally grown products, ie oranges, lemons and extra virgin olive oil
We saw an opportunity to increase sales by processing our citrus into home-made jams and direct selling additional products we made, such as marmelades and capers in salt.
2015 - March 2019
We decided to bring selected products direct from small-batch producers located in the Catania and Syracuse areas, like orange blossom honey, aromatic herbs and tomato sauce.
Since November 2019
To gain entry into new and additional markets that would be difficult or impossible to access on our own, we switched from our own web-based ordering system to on-line food hubs which connect small producers with customers, as an alternative to large-scale supermarkets (Coopérative Reseau Solidaraiment in Belgium and The Orange Girl in Luxembourg).