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organic farmer

Joan Abad

With the change of the millenium, Joan Abad decided to make a radical change in his life, which up until then had been a very urban one, and tried his hand at organic gardening. He chose a place far away from any pollution in La Garrotxa, on an old estate called El Serrat del Pont. Though the area had been highly populated until the 20th century, in the late 1960s there had been an exodus of locals to cities, leaving the area practically uninhabited. Today, Joan produces organic vegetables on some 10,000 metres of cultivated land, which he makes sure is well integrated into the natural surroundings of fields and forests .

1. 14th century manor house located in the so-called Gratacós neighbourhood. After the Llierca bridge was built in the 15th century, the name of the neighbourhood changed to Veïnat del Pont. The house is located on a cliff which dominates the Llierca. Nearby, down the hill, there are some archaeological remains from the Bronze, Iron, Copper, Iberian, Roman and Medieval eras.

2. Olive tree more than 300 hundred years old.

One of the few olive trees that survived the great freeze of 1956. That year, almost all of the olive trees in northern Catalonia (Empordà, Garrotxa, Pla de l'Estany, and so on) died. Around the house there are still great holes where the trees used to be after local people uprooted the trees to use as firewood. This is the farthest north that olive trees can possibly flourish, as normally they don't do well in more northern areas.

3. My dog, Brull. When I adopted him, he was one year old and his name was Manolito. I changed his name and taught him to look for truffles. He's a real expert at it now.

4, 5, 6, 7. Pumpkin, broccoli, cabbage and green salads, freshly picked from my vegetable garden. Producing vegetables while respecting as much as possible the fragile Garrotxa environment is my aim, something that is simple and yet complicated at the same time. I can count on one advantage, though: the Llierca river, which crosses the Massís d'Alta Garrotxa and which has exceptionally high quality water due to there being no industrial activity in the area. Each plant gets the right quantity of water it needs, and we don't spoil a drop of it. The principles of my organic agricultural production are based on respect for the environment, giving priority to the health of the consumers. I don't use any chemicals and I use only the best seeds in order to achieve the highest quality vegetables. Little by little, I'm changing this environment to return it to its origins.

8-Rotary hoe

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