Some mates with… Wenceslao Adrion
09 Jun 2022
Producer and Agricultural Engineer of Chacra Humus in El Bolsón, where fine fruits, cereals, yogurts, cheeses, ice creams and even new wheats are produced, all with organic certification
What is the history of the company?
It all started at the beginning of the eighties when my father Paul Adrion arrived in Argentina from the south of Germany, very close to the famous “black forest”, where he grew raspberries on a plot of half a hectare. Already in 1984 he began to lay the foundations for Chacra Humus, which began with 3 hectares and today has 36, in El Bolsón, province of Rio Negro. In 1995 the establishment obtained organic certification. Currently we continue with the family legacy of continuing to produce organically as it is part of our production philosophy.
Why did you decide to turn so early to organic production?
From the beginning we bet on organic production because we believe in it. Since we consider that it is sustainable for the environment and for human beings. What is the importance of production certification? Certification is very important because it gives the product seriousness. The organic certificate gives confidence to our consumers that our products comply with all the regulations of organic production, quality standards and traceability. The certification is a guarantee for the consumer.
What are the productive units of the company?
In all our units we seek the biodiversification of products, trying to intersperse and interact activities that complement each other. It is important to note that all of them are organic. In addition, we seek to offer a work activity throughout the year. If we have to divide them for analytical reasons they are:
Animal (milk production)
Dairy industry, (the added value of milk): cheeses, yogurt, dulce de leche, ice cream
Vegetable: the production of fine fruit, where we have as a pillar the raspberry and also all the other berries such as: blackberry, cassis, corinth, redcurrant, morello cherry, elderberry, blueberry and strawberry.
The nursery, which is the production of plants
Agritourism in summer grain production
How is the production process of milk and its derivatives?
We currently have 70 cows (of which there are 50 in milking) mostly of the Holando breed, although some with Jersey crosses to gain milk with higher fat content for dairy production. Our animals are great fertilizer generators, something that we find essential for organic production. It is important to note that all the milk produced by the cows is produced by us. This is how we make cheeses, yogurts and dulce de leche. We also make milk-based ice cream. Finally, we sell dairy products in the region and through direct sales in our sales room on our farm where people come.
What is the production process of fine fruits?
All our fine fruits are produced in our own fields and handling is intensive, with an irrigation system and we have an anti-frost system. We have a system of working with different varieties of berries that complement each other. So we can manage better during the long harvest period. We start with raspberries, then we mix with cassis, corinth, currant and so we keep the land occupied all year round. Currently, most of the farm’s fine fruit production is dedicated to raspberries because it grows very well in the area. Due to both climatic and agronomic conditions, yields of between 12 and 15 tons per hectare are obtained. All our production of fine fruits supplies the area, especially in Bariloche, where the consumption of fresh seasonal fruit is very interesting and the frozen format allows marketing throughout the year.
How does the nursery work?
We are proud to be pioneers in having a berry nursery. Basically we make the nursery for producers who want to increase and incorporate surface of this production. This takes a long period of preparation until delivery as it lasts 2 years. We sell the plant conditioned and ready for planting from June to September every year.
How does agrotourism work?
Agrotourism for us is an activity that helps drive all the others. Here in the summer many tourists come to visit us in our sales room, ice cream parlor, and we also offer them fresh fruit. For this proposal we offer guided visits to families who come to know the origin of the products.
How is the cultivation of cereals?
The subject of cereals is very interesting because in the area where we are, it has always been made historically, then it was lost due to the monopoly of the large flour mills and we are currently trying to recover it little by little. For that we seek to multiply varieties and species that are of the European line without much modification and looking for quality above yield. Today we are growing mostly spelled wheat and also durum wheat.
What benefits do your organic products have for the consumer?
Organic is a consumer need and a priority of ours. Today the world demands more organic products because consumers are increasingly aware of the positive impact of consuming organic. Organic farming takes care of the land, takes care of the planet and the ecosystem. Since they are healthy because they preserve their nutrients throughout the production chain. Organic products provide minerals and vitamins, for those seeking a better quality of life.
How can the consumer contact you?
Today we are present on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/humusdelamontana/?hl=es and on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/Humus-de-la-Monta%C3%B1a-358736634204622/. Word of mouth from clients and all the interviews they do with us also work a lot
What plans do you have for the future?
We always seek to continue betting on organic production and for this we are very committed to educating consumers and showing them the differential of this way of producing. In the future we are working on a project with barley for beer, for this we are working with INTA. I am interested in adding this new cereal for the yields and the production in terms of energy to feed the animals. It will be a challenge to get this variety to settle and become a new replacement for others already known and used over time.
What is organic production?
Organic Production in Argentina is regulated by Law 25,127, its Decrees and Resolutions, being defined by internationally recognized official and private organizations and includes a certification and control system. The terms organic, ecological and biological are synonymous and may only be applied to products that comply with this Law.
It is a sustainable production system that promotes environmental care, by strengthening biodiversity and soil biotic activity. They are also traceable foods, the product of an internationally recognized system of standards and control. Organic production “combines tradition, innovation and science for the benefit of the shared environment, promotes fair relationships and a good quality of life for all those involved” (IFOAM, 2008).
It is based on the minimum use of external inputs, without the use of synthetic fertilizers and pesticides, or genetic manipulation. Methods are used that minimize air, soil and water pollution. Thus, organic food producers, handlers, processors and traders are governed by standards that maintain their integrity.