Let us see how by conserving traditional methods of farming and processes as well as defending biodiversity, we can boast that the Moringa Oleifera Lam embodies the best of its species.
The Moringa Oleifera tree, catalogued by Lamarck, a French naturalist, belongs to the Moringaceae family of which there are 13 registered species. The Moringa Oleifera is one of them and is also known as Moringa pterygosperma.
Owing to the climate and soil conditions where the Moringa Yguá tree is grown, some requirements arise that are somehow processed by its organisms and established by nature in time as a result of this adaptation to place.
Piribebuy, place of the gentle breeze, in the Guaraní tongue
Before and now
The Moringal Yguá grows in the Southern Hemisphere, a hot place with a tropical climate, continental, humid; geographical coordinates, latitude -25.5 and longitude -56.9.
The tree prospers over an area of 37 hectares, shared between tree plantations and meadows, growing in two types of soil, one red ferruginous earth of volcanic origin and another sandy loam of younger sandstone. Both are deep and well drained thus avoiding standing water round the trees during the intense rains. They prefer humid heat.
We are at an altitude of 200 m above sea level; the average temperature in summer is 25º and in winter 22º. The annual rainfall index varies between 1.300mm and 2.200mm. Throughout the year the atmosphere is warm, humid and light. We have contrasting temperatures ranging between a maximum temperature of 39º to below 15º on the same day.
Originally the site was hilly with plenty of humus that has been conserved to a large extent. The work over the last years has allowed it to increase and become enriched.
The origin, our own local seed
Selection and sensitivity
We produce the seed we need by means of a process of seed selection from the trees best acclimatised to their surroundings. These are the mother trees that are identified with the Plantation and the work of the carers´ hands. This guarantees us a healthy vigorous plantation.
While in the nursery the seedlings are kept in good environmental conditions. After the first week, germination begins which allows better growth of the main root.
Before the plants are transferred to their final destination, a mixture of organic manures is placed in the holes where they are to be planted. We use a compost of good microbiological quality prepared on the Plantation. This fertilisation on transplanting strengthens the growth of the tree.
Covering up the land, the green cover
Land cover is an old practice in warm countries. It is applied by using strips and branches from the trees themselves left after the harvest. This is an organic alternative used to give back to the soil part of what it has given us, thus conserving its moisture and fixing nitrogen.
Green cover is another step we take in land cover on the Moringa plantation, with the planting of green manure in the summer and winter. Throughout the year, we plant pulses and other native species in between the trees so as to protect them from too much sun and the intense rain. In this way, nitrogen is fixed and fertilisation incremented as well as porosity and internal drainage.
Especially on plantations of fast growing evergreen trees like the Moringa, we increase the fertilising activity and prevent weeds and other diseases.
A healthy soil should be well fed.
Management and traditional practices in farming
The Guarani were great ecologists who lived in the middle of the forests among an endogenous abundance and fertility. They also knew extremely well nature´s most productive times, the seasons, the rain patterns and the effects of the lunar cycles on the crops.
We have received a legacy of intangible knowledge on the uses of Nature and what it provides, the “Ñandekuaapytee”. Therefore, the Yguá plantation is managed by its workers guided by observation and respect for the land and its seasons.
The work in the fields like the clearing of the soil, weeding, tipping and the harvesting are all carried out carefully, with due gratitude towards a tree so generous in its nutritional properties.
A social commitment –traceability
Sharing a green treasure
The work we have carried out in D.O. Piribebuy on preserving the balance of the place, the trees and the people living there are endorsed by the Organic Certification granted for growth, production and export to Europe, Japan and USA and the certifications of GMP (Good Management Practices) and HACCP (Hazard analysis and critical control points).