Los Grillos Farm, Almeria.
For most people, the word greenhouse is associated with an area under plastic where products are produced intensively, mainly with a view to exporting. In the case of organic production, the level of intensity will be determined among other things by the amount of NPK allowed in the standards.
It is difficult to imagine that an oasis of biodiversity and sustainability can exist in an area of greenhouses, even in the case of organic production. The Los Grillos farm in the district of Níjar, Almería (Spain), is a clear example of this. The owner of the farm, Esther Molina, began the process of conversion to organic production in 2016 and obtained certification in 2018.
Esther Molina specialized in plant health and has been a farmer since she was 18 years old and has been practicing agroecology for 10 years. In 2016 she became a member of the Croponhijar Cooperative, which is the marketing channel for her products; that same year she decided to plant a hedge of native plants around the perimeter of the land, and this completely changed the farm. This work was done with the support of researchers Monica Gonzalez and Estefania Rodriguez, researchers from the Andalusian Institute of Agricultural Research and Training, Fisheries, Food and Ecological Production (IFAPA). The use of hedgerows in greenhouses was also being studied at that time by the Las Palmerillas Experimental Station (Cajamar Foundation).
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