The different peculiarities of this excellent small family farmhouse hit the nail on the head. It is located in Crova, a small town south of Vercelli, into the hearth of that “plain of rice” between Turin and Milan which, since the end of the 15th century, has represented one of the worldwide renowned places for cultivating this precious cereal.
“What we mostly appreciate in Cascina Oschiena – Paolo Bray, Founder and Director of Friend of the Earth, stated – is its conception of environmental protection, sustainability and respect for biodiversity, basically the driving force of our work. And what attracted our attention was not only the farmhouse bold decision to use integrated pest management practices, but also the launching of a large number of collateral initiatives, which are closely linked to the core business”.
The farm is run on paddy fields, a reductive term to define what is, in fact a natural oasis composed of 115 hectares, of which 85% is used for rice, while the remaining 25 turned into permanent wetlands.
Alice Cerutti , owner of Cascina Oschiena, explained the reasons behind her decision loud and clear: “Ecosystem preservation is the key point. But it’s no longer enough. Now it’s time to give back”.
The range of Cascina Oschiena certified rice includes Carnaroli and Arborio, cultivated in the area since the Reinessance; Apollo, a spicy rice; Selenio, the “round” rice, ideal for soups and broths; Ermes Brown and Venere Brown, the red and black varieties.
Alice Cerutti has reduced polluting emissions by drying rice during the daytime, when the power requirements are lower, planting trees around the fields, preserving 10 km biological corridors, and rehabilitating two karst springs which meet all the farm water needs.
“Environmental conservation and social accountability – explains Alice – are an essential part of food products quality. We have chosen Friend of the Earth certification because of its comprehensive approach which guarantees consumers about all these important issues”.