The idea of selling your produce at less than the cost of production seems crazy but that is what the agriculturalists on the Huerta (kitchen garden) of the Vega Baja have been doing for the past few years. Prices are of course governed not just locally but nationally and internationally and that has been the problem.
Earlier in the year, one of the ladies in our class was telling us that the local farmer was not harvesting his potatoes because it simply wasn’t worth it. It would have cost him more that the market price to pick them so he was going to leave them to rot in the ground.
Now though, things are different. The bad winter weather that has affected Europe and other parts of Spain has benefitted the Vega Baja and driven prices up. That, combined with the transfer of good clean water from the Tajo to the Segura have worked in favour of the growers and allowed them to produce artichokes, broccoli, cabbages, lemons and oranges at a profit, especially broccoli. I have some in the fridge, it is firm, dark green and full of flavour – fantastic.