Outdoor Crops

A family farm in Acate Sicily

Bio World

The Marzullo family farm, located in Acate in the province of Ragusa, Sicily covers about 80 hectares. The main crops are Olives, Citrus, Artichokes and in protected cultivation tomatoes and vegetables.

We sit around a table with the Marzullo family at their organic farm in Acate, Sicily, which Carmelo took over from his father. It was the first organic farm in Sicily to grow all its vegetables and citrus fruits organically from the very start. Carmelo’s father was also the first farmer to buy a tractor, which the entire village came out to see. Tradition, innovation and respect for the environment, for the plants and for human health – those have always been the principles on which the Marzullo family farm is based.

Farmer or doctor?

Carmelo’s wife Lucilla is a doctor, and she was rather hoping that her daughter Samanta would follow in her footsteps, but Samanta chose her father’s path in life, studied agronomy and is carrying on the business. Doctor or farmer, it makes no difference to Lucilla, since both are concerned with the health of animals and the planet. A healthy earth produces healthy food for healthy people.

"Respect for people and the environment should absolutely never be lost sight. It is the fundamental goal for all of us young farmers. Like many of my peers, I’m convinced that we can make tradition and innovation coexist."

Samanta Marzullo

"We are enormously curious. That's what characterizes us. Above all, we're always in a good mood, facing everything with a smile or a joke."

How we grow our artichokes

To get a new plantation of artichokes from the previous year’s crop we cut off the upper part of the plant leaving only the roots so that all the plant’s energy goes into increasing the size of the tuber. After 15 to 20 days we extract all the roots including the fully formed tubers, cut them up and put them into containers filled with peat. Then we put the containers in a humid place, irrigate them, and once the new plant is formed (10-15cm) we transplant them into the cleared field and fresh cultivation starts.

"This has always been an organic farm, so it has always followed a philosophy of respect for the environment, for the plants, and first and foremost for the health of people."

Carmelo Marzullo

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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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