At Torre Colombaia we follow the entire production chain from raw materials to the finished product we eat.
All steps of the production chain can be identified and controlled, from the transformations that occur on the farm or at the local organic artisans, to conservation, labelling, etc.
The organic farming that we practice in the 55 acres that we grow not only is the absence of chemical fertilizers and herbicides, but a choice of the most appropriate cultivation techniques (crop rotation, abundant organic fertilizer, green manure, shallow processing of land, a 3-year Alfalfa crop – to give organic nitrogen to the soil – use of a harrow tines to uproot weeds) and and of chosen seed having the best organoleptic qualities and best suiting to our land (bolero and ancient Italian grains as for wheat, khorasan wheat as for durum wheat, “green mignon” and “partridge eye” as for lentils, “linda” as for flax, etc.).
Since 1987 these lands are cultivated organically. TORRECOLOMBAIA is the first AIAB (now ICEA) certified organic farm in Umbria since 1987.
TORRECOLOMBAIA is the first AIAB (now ICEA) certified organic farm in Umbria since 1987.
In our recently built warehouse (with the EC law n. 950), we placed four essential tools:
- a sorting machine to select and clean the threshed seeds and thus obtain the pure seed by the inevitable presence (in organic farming) of other types of seeds from the weeds that have been threshed together with the relevant crop;
- a cell-fridge that keeps at constant 4°C the cold-pressed oils, flour, hulled seeds (sunflower) and hulled grains (farro, millet, barley);
- a cold press for seeds (max 36°C) to obtain a linseed oil and sunflower oil that are always fresh and intact with all their heat-sensitive vitamins. Our linseed oil has been quoted by the Società Scientifica di Nutrizione Vegetariana [Scientific Society of Vegetarian Nutrition] (www.scienzavegetariana.it) as one of the best in Italy;
- a stone mill for cereals, manufactured in Austria, to ensure all the organoleptic properties of our wholemeal flours. All flours, both wholemeal and sieved flours, are freshly stone ground, in our farm; then they are stored in a cold room or vacuum bagged or at modified atmosphere (N2 + CO2).
In addition, the cleaning from microorganisms is ensured through a series of eco-friendly products specifically designed for the air and surfaces of the warehouse. However, the labels of “Torre Colombaia” products always show, not only the expiry date of the product, but also that of its production / packaging, which is an optional item by law.
Note: Not being clearly able to do everything at our farm, including the production and warehouse storage, we transform some of our products at a range of organic traditional craftsmen in the area: we carry our wheat to their mills to obtain flour from Khorasan wheat and cereals and sunflower seeds to a plant for hulling. Our sunflower seeds are among the few Italians on the market. We carry our barley to a low temperature roasting site to get barley coffee and to make our pasta we bring the flour in a factory with slow-drying and bronze dies.
Italian ancient wheat
In a plot of land near Cerreto farmhouse, we are trialing some ancient Italian wheat: biancola, gentilrosso, abbondanza, in collaboration and funded by Parco Tecnologico dell’Umbria [Technology Park of Umbria]. With such wheat we also produce a whole wheat flour “made by an Italian mix of ancient grains” that are, according to the latest research by the Department of Agriculture, University of Florence, much more rich in vitamins and minerals compared to modern wheat (Prof. Stefano Benedettelli).
In 2012 we planted an apple orchard made of 58 plants of 7 different ancient Umbrian apple cultivars which are dying out in collaboration with Parco Tecnologico dell’Umbria. Such apples are in production since 2014.