Thanks to integrated management, our paddy fields are the ideal habitat for many birds species that feed and nest here. In the springtime peewits, stilts, little egrets, mallards, night herons, grey herons and, more rarely, great egrets, purple herons and common sandpipers inhabit our fields.
Cascina San Maiolo is contributing to requalifying the landscape by planting between its paddy fields permanent woods with indigenous trees: oaks, rowans, hornbeams, mulberries, cornus mas, hawthorns, hazelnuts, dog-rose… in an attempt to decrease deforestation, which is quite widespread in our valley. Always to protect the environment, in our property there are two swamps (fields kept wet during most of the year where vegetation can grow spontaneously) and a long row formed basically by very old big oaks. In these habitats wild birds can nest and breed undisturbed.
THE WORK OF MAN
Our rice is cultivated according to the tradition. In spring time fields are flooded and the rice is planted into the water which protects young plants from cold and prevent the growth of some weeds. For a few weeks the paddy fields look like a “check sea”, then the plants grow and, between September and October, the ears are ripe. The rice is harvested and threshed and then dried and stored. Cascina San Maiolo uses ancient methods (rotation) and modern technology (GPS-assisted tractors, solar panels…) to reduce environmental impact to its lowest. The last stage of the process is set out of the farm in a traditional rice mill: grains are separated from their shells (husk), the rice is polished and vacuum-packed with no preservatives.