Damiano is a company that controls, processes, packages and distributes organic nutt. Damiano Agricola is one of its branches. We founded it because over the last few years we felt that processing, packaging and distributing was not enough for us. We felt the need to grow our products. So we started buying almond and hazelnut tree groves: almond trees in the south of Sicily, in the area of Caltanissetta, Agrigento and Syracuse; hazelnut trees on the Nebrodi mountains, not far from our establishment in Torrenova.
We want to rely on our own 100% organic produce. Damiano Agricola was created especially to supply Damiano, assuring steady costs, predictable quantities of product and the traceability of every single almond and hazelnut.
Why are we telling you all this, you ask? It’s simple: this way we know exactly which almonds are in your packet and you can be sure that what we promise is what we deliver. For us, safety and quality are not two empty words. By growing our own hazelnuts and almonds, we have turned these words into something very tangible, so tangible you can actually taste it.
Direct cultivation requires large investments: work must be carried out on the land every year. But the investment is also in the people: when we purchase plots of land from single owners, we invite them to stay and work with us. Our only requirement is that they cultivate following our techniques – techniques we have learned from organic farmers around the world and that are the result of research from the Faculty of Agriculture of Palermo and Catania. So we teach our farmers how to plough, plant and prune in ways that are different from those traditionally used in Sicily. And in the end, when the harvest is good and the quality of the product is there for everyone to see and the soil has been treated with respect, we know we’ve done well.
Everything is more complicated for our hazelnut tree groves, since they grow on the Nebrodi mountains. They are hard to reach, to clean, to prune. These are hazelnut trees that were planted in Roman times, on terraces built to control erosion. Hazelnut trees have long and extremely strong superficial roots that form a resistant network that keeps the ground compact. Many of these plots of land had been abandoned and to recover the trees to make them fully productive was difficult and expensive. Then there are bugs that can be ruthless and destroy most of the harvest. But this is the price we have decided to pay in order to grow fully organic products. Is it hard work? Yes. Setbacks? A few. But what all this is mostly about for us is the great sense of pride and satisfaction we take from our beautiful and delicious hazelnuts. Their flavour, their warm roasted scent, is simply irresistible, and that is exactly what makes them so unique.
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