Srboljub Arsic & Aleksander Arsic
A blueberry farm with 25 hectares of blueberries in Belanovica, Serbia.
Before we are given a guided tour of the extensive farm, we first have to eat and drink: home distilled Raki, distilled from blueberries, of course. There is also bacon and ham, a very special ham from the Mangalica pig, an ancient Hungarian breed.
The Mangalica or Manganlitza curly-haired pig comes from Hungary and was originally bred in around 1850, a cross between Serbian Sumadia, Szaltonser and Bolkonyer pigs. Until 1950 it was a popular breed, with about 30,000 in Hungary, but then its popularity declined, and the breed almost died out in the 1970s. Father and son Arsic decided to breed them here and some 500 of the long-haired black pigs now run around on the farm.
The meat is prized not just for its flavour but because it is through to have health-giving properties. It is full of Omega 3 fats and even reduces cholesterol; chefs from London to New York praise the quality of the meat as the Wagyu pig among pigs. In our film Srboljub describes how, after a family meal at Christmas, they decided to start breeding this pig.
The growing of blueberries is a recent occupation of the family too, begun in 2015. They were advised from the start by Nebojša Momirović, Professor of Genetics at University of Belgrade’s Faculty of Agriculture.
Together they developed the best technologies and the most environmentally friendly growing methods.
“We realised that the conventional way of growing isn't the only way. There are organic ways to cultivate crops in line with the natural environment.”
Prof. PhD Nebojsa Momirovic
University of Belgrade
The raise of a blueberry plantation
Mr. Aleksandar and his son Srboljub wanted to preserve the breath of nature in every single basket of fresh fruits, which would then find their place in market shelves all over Europe. Being able to grow with the plants and to explore the mysteries of nature has filled us with great joy.
The key factor for successful blueberry & soft fruits production is to have deep feeling for accurate integration of different measures, including both induced systemic resistance (ISR) and biological protection management. On the other side, resilient cultivation also implies very precise irrigation and crop nutrition techniques, as well as use of organic fertilizers and plant strengtheners. It has been delightful to be a part of this venture, which is truly respectful towards keeping harmony of nature and mankind.
“The same passion we have for growing Blueberries, we have for keeping Mangalica pigs. We make sure we treat both animals and plants properly and with care.”
"The breath of nature in every single basket of fresh fruits."
Fresh Fruit Stories
The breath of nature in every piece of fruit
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Resilience Food Stories is a storytelling platform by Ruud Sies and Hanneke van Hintum in partnership with Kopprt Biological Systems.
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