Why do we adopt trees?
Everyone has their own personal reason, motivation or excuse to adopt one of our orange trees. This article will explain why we decided to offer our orange trees for adoption.
We farmers, like anyone else, have quite some concerns and worries during the course of a year. But as with anything in life: to the majority of our "problems" there is a solution and others simply have to be accepted as they are because they are beyond our control. Drowning in our worries does not lead anywhere. Actually, the moment we accept the fact that we can't control it is when a problem stops being a problem and becomes a challenge.
Our concerns are mainly of two types: the preoccupation for nature risks (unpredictable but mostly acceptable) and the concern for commercial risks (mostly incoherent and not acceptable to a small farmer).
- Nature risks: Frost, hail, strong winds, pests and diseases or any other "nature catastrophy". Our orange trees are planted in a mediterreanean climate zone with very good conditions for cultivation of citric fruits. Nevertheless, we experience weeks with low temperatures freezing parts of our harvest, days with wind blowing off oranges from the branches or hail leaving marks on their skin. These risks, even if difficult or impossible to predict, we can do nothing about but accept. They affect the quantity of fruits produced, their outer appearance or sometimes also the quantity of juice or even its taste. Nature decides!
- Commercial risks: one of the big uncertainties that keep us farmers awake at night is whether or not we can sell to a fair price. In our globalised world today small farmers like us we find ourselves exposed and vulnerable. Each season you start growing without knowing neither whether you will be able to sell your harvest nor at which price. Many times we have been forced to sell our oranges below production costs because there was no other solution. These risks are unpredictable and beyond human logic:
"Why should I continue farming?" "Why should I keep producing high quality products if later I might not even be able to sell them?" "How is it possible that they reject my uglier oranges if inside they are just as good?" "I can't employ a team if I don't know yet the selling price of my products."
During the first years at Naranjas del Carmen, it would happen sometimes that my brother Gabriel and me didn't even know how to pay our salary at the end of the month. When we decided to employ two people helping us so that we could continue with the farm, my brother and me started to arrange our work at Naranjas del Carmen with second jobs outside so we would earn a salary.
A part of our risks we manage to cover with the CrowdFarming. Thanks to the adoption of our trees we can adapt our production to the real demand for our oranges. We cultivate orange trees knowing that each one has an owner paying a fixed price for its maintainance. Growing trees for the people that will consume their fruits multiplies our motivation. We now know that our daily work is worth the effort and that all the fruits we produce will end happily in your hands!