Domenico Maraglino, an Italian citrus grower from Massafra (Taranto), decided to start producing limes. In order to provide added value to his fruits, he decided to do it with organic farming. "I have two covered plants, one of which is 7 years old and the other 5 years old. I am obtaining very good results in terms of yields, fruit quality and profitability, but difficulties are always around the corner."
"I had a greenhouse that had remained unused for a few years and at the same time I had been thinking about an alternative to oranges and clementines (fruits that in any case risk rotting on trees due to the absence of a market), so I decided to try cultivating lime instead. I planted the first trees, and when I realized that they were growing and producing, I added more, and now there are approximately 300 plants.
"I covered the trees with double-layered hail coverings to prevent frost from falling on the leaves and possibly freezing. Apart from those sporadic and short periods of the year when temperatures reach -2/-3° C, so far, I have not registered any particular agronomic difficulties, except for those related to pests such as red spider mites, aphids and cochineal, exclusively treated with insecticides authorized for organic productions."
"The plant enters its full production starting in the fourth/fifth year. Harvesting takes place in early October and ends in late November. Currently, I am obtaining an average of 30 kilos per plant," explained Maraglino.
"My limes have the typical characteristics of imported citrus fruits, with the difference that they are Italian and organic. The fruits are medium to large in size, with a rounded shape and a slight bulge in the lower part of the fruit, and a smooth skin. I send the product to the cooperative Apofruit, which then processes and packages it according to its commercial needs. Growing limes in the Ionian area is possible, but it is advisable to join organizations that can provide commercial and contractual warranties. It is not an option to produce limes and then randomly appear on the markets.
For more information:
Azienda Agricola Maraglino Agrumi
Via San Leonardo, 34
74016 Massafra (Taranto)