The story of Valerio Baiardi from Cesena, Italy

Changing life at 59 to start growing soft fruits

"For over 30 years I always did the same job, until I became mentally exhausted. I resigned on 28 January 2021, and I opened my agricultural business on 8 February 2021. I now own 3000 raspberry plants and 120 blueberries, which have restored the enthusiasm I had lost.

Valerio Baiardi, overjoyed by his new lifestyle

This is how Valerio Baiardi, a new agricultural entrepreneur from Martorano di Cesena (Forlì-Cesena), Italy, started his new journey. He owes this radical new direction and new found passion also to Matteo and Luca Molari, owners of the company Molari Berries&Breeding, located in the same town.

View of the 3000 raspberry plants

"Last summer, I acquired my first raspberry berries as part of their project I Frutti di Gil (see FreshPlaza on 07/30/2020) and I caught a spark in my mind. Having a large plot of land of behind my house at my disposal and being tired of my job, I started to attend the Molari nursery and in a short time I learned many things. Then, together with my wife Annarita and sons Cristian and Luigi, I decided to change my life by starting to grow soft fruits".

The work is still not over, emphasized Baiardi

Baiardi has decided to start on a big scale. More than 2,000 square meters of roofing, which will soon be protected with anti-insect netting, 3000 raspberry plants and 120 blueberry plants, which will increase to 400 within a couple of years. The raspberry variety is Enrosadira, while the blueberries are Duke. In 2022, 280 Titanium plants will be added. The fertigation system is separate in all three areas.

The blueberry area

"When I think that at the beginning of February there was still nothing, and that on 25 May 2021 everything is almost complete, I get emotional just thinking about it. This would have been impossible without the advice of the Molari team and without the help of my family."

In order to keep costs to a minimum, a large part of the work was carried out by themselves, such as the assembly of the greenhouse structure, the excavations, the preparation of the fertigation system, the mulching and the potting of the plants. Only some operations, such as the positioning of the covering film, were carried out by a specialized company. On the operational and technical aspect, Valerio was supported by Jacopo Giuliani and Alessandro Gualandi of the Molari company.

 From left Matteo Molari, Valerio Baiardi and his wife Annarita, son Luigi Baiardi, Luca Molari. In the photo Cristian Baiardi is missing

Marketing and sales                                                                    Before setting everything up, the owner discussed with Molari about how to sell the product. "We are not only a simple plant nursery but we have set up with Baiardi an appropriate consulting plan that also includes the commercial aspect. For this first project, the main sales channels will be through direct sales at the grower's place, sales through our channel I frutti di Gil, through the online channel Tulips, through a network of local stores and, for the surplus, through wholesalers at the wholesale market".

Matteo e Luca Molari

Raspberries and blueberries will be packaged in 125 grams cardboard trays (therefore recyclable), with a transparent window to show the product. A label will show the date of harvest and the name of the variety, as a commemoration of a long-lasting commitment promoted by Gilberto Molari, father of Luca and Matteo.

The 125-gram package, sustainable and recyclable

"We are waiting to start the harvest in mid-June for blueberries and late July for raspberries. In the meantime, we still have a considerable amount of work to do, so that the plant can be said complete. The fatigue has been, and still is, a lot, but you have the satisfaction of dedicating yourself to an activity that brings you joy and enthusiasm is priceless."

For more information:
Az. Ag. Baiardi 
Valerio Baiardi
+39 373 8512706

Vivai Molari
Matteo Molari 
+39 0547 630540 

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