Daniele Ciani from Forlì uprooted his peach and nectarine trees to focus on small fruits and is rather satisfied as "the price per kg is rather constant all year round, with a good margin." He grows 3600 raspberry plants and harvesting is in full swing at the moment.
"I started following the advice of Gilberto Molari, then I visited companies in Veneto and was advised by Molari Vivai technicians as well as Spreafico experts, to which I hand the produce. I have developed my own technique, suitable for the environment I'm working in, and I am pleased with what I have achieved so far," explains Ciani.
Part of the orchard, covered with a plastic shading film
The grower currently cultivates two varieties - Enrosadira and Adelita. Fertigation is carried out 3 times a day for 10 minutes. "I am experiencing no particular health problems: two treatments a year away from harvesting periods are enough. Brown marmorated stink bugs are not damaging the fruit. Harvesting is carried out once every two days on average."
"When I had few plants I could harvest and sell them myself or via the wholesale market. Then, as quantities increased, it was no longer possible to do that and I started working with Spreafico, a professional company that also helps me with varietal choice."
Harvested produce in 125 gram punnets
To maintain quality high, it is important to harvest at the right time - one day too early or one day too late can be fatal. Once harvested, fruits must immediately be placed in units and the cold chain must never be interrupted. "We place the fruits in 125 gram punnets and then in 2 kg CPR crates."
In addition to raspberries, Ciani also has new blueberry, raspberry and strawberry orchards.