My name is Joan Castella Grau. I was born in Canovelles (near Barcelona) into a farming family and in 1979 I started to work on the family farm.
I moved with my partner MercŔ Pascual to Amposta (Tarragona) in 1990 and we took on the running of a 0.9 hectare (9,000 square metres) greenhouse.
We soon ran into problems. Our cucumber plants died off and we realized it was down to chemical products in the soil which had been used by the previous owners. To solve this problem we successfully used organic compost.
This was the starting point for our interest in ecological agriculture. We attended courses at the Escola de Capacitaciˇ AgrÓria dĺAmposta (Amposta Agricultural College) and shared experiences with people who had already worked in this area.
At present, besides the aforementioned greenhouse, we also have 7 hectares of land and a 0.9 hectare orange grove.
Since 1992 we have been members of the CCPAE Consell CatalÓ de la Producciˇ AgrÓria Ecol˛gica, www.ccpae.org, (Catalan Association for Ecological Agricultural Production) with membership numbers ct235pe and ct146p.
We started out by exporting to EU countries, mainly Germany and France. In November 1996 we started a home delivery service, providing a selection of our seasonal organic vegetables together with fruit from ecological producers within Spain.
At first we offered this service locally in towns such as Amposta, Tortosa, La SÚnia etc but we now deliver to anywhere in Spain.
You are welcome to visit us on the first Saturday of every month for a tour of our farm, and you can also follow our activities on our web page under Whatĺs happening now? or on Facebook.
Our greenhouse production has been included in several studies carried out by the Catalan governmentĺs Agricultural Department and by Barcelona University.
In 2006 we opened Ekobo, a shop supplying organic food products in Amposta.
We have been awarded the Medal for Catalan Agriculture by the Generalitat of Catalonia, which was presented to us by the Catalan President, Jordi Pujol i Soley, on the 17th July 2003.
On 13th December 2008 we were presented with the Qualitat Ebrenca (Ebro Quality) award by the Amics i Amigues de lĺEbre (Friends of the Ebro) association.
On 17th March 2010, we were given a special mention by the MontsiÓ county council in the 4th edition of the MontsiÓ Innova (MontsiÓ Innovations) awards, 2009.