Ontario Agriculture

The network for agriculture in Ontario, Canada

Exploring traditional and modern agriculture in Spain

Jan 12 - Sunday

Our day began leaving the sunny Mediterranean coast and travelling to the small rural village of Alameda. We visited the Centre Tematico del campo Andaluz. This was a museum dedicated to teaching people about the past farming practices and traditions. We were met by a museum guide, and two local farmers, a father and son – Antonio Sr. and Antonio Jr. Antonio Sr. was 90 years old and had, in his lifetime, farmed in the traditional way which, for olive oil production, had not changed substantially since the Roman times 2000 years ago. Practices finally started to modernize in the mid-20th century.

Three main exhibits were set up in the museum: olive oil, buckwheat, and lime (CaC02). Traditional implements and small models of old equipment were on display. An olive oil press was on display from the 17th century, and another model that showed the Roman version of the same process. These two processes were essentially the same, with slightly different materials and technologies. A lime baking oven was reproduced on site, showing how villagers took limestone and processed it into lime that could be used for whitewash, insulation, and disinfectant, as well as a preservative for fruit, and moisturizing skin creams. The oven was made with clay and shaped like a dome, the limestone was heated to separate the lime from the mineral stone. Lime was also used as a soil amendment.

We then toured the local church which housed the grave of Jose El Tempranillo, a famous bandit who robbed the rich to give to the poor. Sunday morning Mass was about to begin, and we could hear the choir getting ready for the service. Even in a small rural town, the church was very ornate with beautiful gold structures. They told us about their traditional processions that take place during Holy Week, which everyone in the village participates in. Faith is obviously a very important part of their lives.

We then drove to Seville, passing acres and acres of olive trees along the way. We were greeted by Inmaculata, or Inma for short. She took us on a walking tour of the city centre. Seville has a population of 750 000, and is the fourth largest city in Spain. Christopher Columbus is buried here and his influence is a part of the identify of Seville. Palm trees adorning the city came from California and Africa. Many of the buildings were decorated with whitewash and yellow trim. Yellow paint, a colour that attracts mosquitos, was created using a pesticide which helped control malaria and other insect-borne diseases in the population.

We saw the Roman aqueducts which were originally made with lead pipes, replaced with clay by the Moors in the 9-10th century, which resulted in a dramatic increase in life expectancy for the citizens.

The main palace, Royal Alcazar, was used as the set for High Garden in Game of Thrones, and the Plaza de Espana was used as the setting for Star Wars, Attack of the Clones, the Nabou location where Anakin and R2D2 and Princess Amydala were. Plaza de Espana was constructed between 1914- 1929 for the 1929 world expo. It sat abandoned for 20 years after the expo because of the economic hardship caused by the great depression. It is a spectacular site, and is now well used for tourism and other city services.

We visited the Jewish quarter and saw the Santa Maria Cathedral. This is the third largest cathedral in Europe, after St. Peter’s (the Vatican), and St. Paul’s in London.

We enjoyed a meal at our hotel and turned in for the night.

 

January 13 – Monday.

We set out for a one-hour ride from Seville to the region of Huelva, where we visited USISA, a fish canning factory at Isla-Cristina. Our guide Elena toured us through the factory, owned by the Vasquez family, who grew the business over the last several decades by acquiring smaller fishing companies and expanding their canning factory. The new building was built in 2000. There are currently 250 workers employed by the company.

The factory processed sardines, mackerel, melva, anchovies and tuna.

Women only work on the fish processing floor, where they hand process the fish – skinning and fileting it. Many workers drive from Portugal to work at the factory. This hand-processing is the traditional method, and differentiates the product from many others. Oil (olive and sunflower), salt and water are the only items used in the processing. They also produce whole sardines which is rare these days, as tastes are changing and mainly older people enjoy the product.

The fish comes from the Gulf of Cadiz and surrounding coastal areas, but the tuna comes from the open Atlantic Ocean. The EU regulates fishing quotas.

Dry tuna is the most popular product, it is a traditional food for Spain and Portugal. Red tuna is very rare and expensive and all the red tuna caught is sold to Japan. The wholesale price would be 30 euros/kg and a whole fish would retail for 2 million euros.

Processing and cutting tuna is men’s work and three men work at this factory to do this job. They cut tuna twice per week. We saw a demonstration of the traditional method of cutting the fish into quarters. They are one of the only factories that cuts by hand, without electric knives. The method is often passed down from father to son.

We were able to sample many products from the factory such as anchovies, salted sardines, mackerel, melva and dry tuna.

 

Views: 96

Comment

You need to be a member of Ontario Agriculture to add comments!

Join Ontario Agriculture

Agriculture Headlines from Farms.com Canada East News - click on title for full story

Federal and British Columbia agriculture ministers host roundtable discussion with representatives of the provincial agriculture and agri-food sector

Marie-Claude Bibeau, federal Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, and Lana Popham, British Columbia’s Minister of Agriculture, Food and Fisheries held a virtual roundtable with British Columbia’s agricultural sector yesterday to listen to their concerns following the devastating floods and landslides and to discuss both immediate and long-term support for the British Columbia agriculture and agri-food industry. Extreme weather events in British Columbia have caused many agricultural producers and their families to struggle in extremely challenging circumstances as they deal with the loss of businesses, homes, livestock, crops and livelihoods. With over 800 farms in British Columbia currently under evacuation orders, the ministers recognized the producers’ courage and perseverance and indicated they are working together to make sure that producers have the resources they need to maintain their mental health and help rebuild their operations.

Maison Francine Leroux receives federal boost to make food more accessible in Drummondville

This week, the Honourable Marie-Claude Bibeau, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, highlighted an investment of up to $78,338 to Maison Francine Leroux under the Local Food Infrastructure Fund’s second phase. Established in 2020, Maison Francine Leroux is a non-profit organization that promotes intergenerational sharing through textile arts, reading and cooking in the community. The Maison Francine Leroux building contains three large rooms, including a collective kitchen, where community members of all ages can safely meet to socialize, share ideas, enjoy coffee or a meal together, and lessen the feeling of isolation.

2021 Dry Bean Seasonal Summary

Acreage, Planting and Harvest In 2020, Ontario dry bean acres were at their highest since 2007. This year, insured acres of dry beans totalled around 115,000 which is comparable to the 10-year average. Acreage of each market class declined in 2021, although the decrease in kidney bean acres was relatively small.

Farm management and mental health

In 2018, Grain Farmers of Ontario’s Board of Directors took a step to address this issue, through mandating the creation of a ‘Farmer Wellness’ program. “The program’s purpose is to foster awareness and provide access to prevention, support, and training resources while developing strategic partnerships to further our efforts,” explains Sarah Plater Findlay, Grain Farmers of Ontario’s human resources consultant. One of those partnerships (which also involved other farming associations and government) supported the creation of a critical recent study called ‘Healthy Minds, Healthy Farms: Exploring the Connection between Mental Health and Farm Business Management’ by Farm Management Canada (FMC).

Pork Producers Lobby Lawmakers On Issues

Preventing foreign animal diseases, addressing a shortage of agricultural workers and reauthorizing a livestock price reporting law are the primary issues on which pork producers will lobby their congressional lawmakers over the next two days, during the fall Capitol Hill fly-in of the National Pork Producers Council. More than 100 producers from across the country are expected to participate virtually in NPPC’s Legislative Action Conference. “These are critical but by no means the only issues of concern to U.S. pork producers,” said NPPC President Jen Sorenson, communications director for Iowa Select Farms in West Des Moines, Iowa. “Failure to address even one of these matters could make it very difficult for hog farmers to continue producing safe, nutritious pork for consumers around the globe. Our fly-in is an opportunity for producers to urge Congress to take action on important issues.”

© 2021   Created by Darren Marsland.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service