I Lochi is a commercial farm located in Bronte (Sicily), a town now well-known for its P.D.O Pistachio.
Lochi is the dialectal term the locals use to refer to the groves where pistachio plants are grown. The loco is a wild and rocky plot of land where different plants could not be easily grown…
And it is precisely from the perfect union between lava soil, rich in minerals and pistachio plant, that the P.D.O. Bronte Pistachio has origin. Bronte Pistachio is a fruit that is unique and exquisite for its taste, aroma, color and quality.
Exactly in these lands, called lochi, two big farmers, involved in pistachio production for generations, have decided to join their resources and forces in order to produce and offer an excellent product that can qualitatively and quantitatively satisfy the increasing demands of the international market.
Pistachio plants don’t require to be fertilized and, especially irrigated – they are cultivated in Sicily where water is a precious resource.
They don’t need special treatment, except pruning once a year, in the period from November to March. In even years, when the harvest is not foreseen, the buds in bloom are removed by hand. This method, called green pruning, forces the plant to develop only vegetative activity, while storing mineral resources for the year to come.
Expected for two years, the harvest is the most important moment for the community. Between the end of August and the beginning of September, locals leave their home in the town and move to lochi (local name for pistachio groves). There everyone, including women, old people and children has his own task in pistachio harvest.
Harvesting is not so easy, walking unsteadily on steep lava soils pickers cling to the branches with one hand, while with the other they pick the seeds off one by one, to drop them into the canvas bag tied around the neck. A maximum of 20 kilos of pistachios are harvested in a working day. Only in plainer lands pistachio can harvest by setting up a tent under the tree.
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