We talked to a great connoisseur of their farming, Juan José García.
Juan José García is such an enciclopaedia of the Axarquian fields. Even if lately he’s mostly dedicated to maintenance at the B bou Hotel Cortijo Bravo, in “April 1989, after ending my military service”, he started to work on the avocado plantation of María and Andrés’ family, B bou’s co-founders. He was “working there for 25 years”, so he’s got an incredible knowledge of the great relevance of this tropical farming for our district, a farming that also contributes to provide some incredible views to the landscape of the already quoted Cortijo Bravo but also for the B bou Hotel La Viñuela & Spa.
Surprisingly, the farming of avocados, as Juan recalls, “started here 30 years ago, more or less, and in a more casual way than you would think of”. In fact, in the beginning, there was a little bit of a surprise to it: “I remember walking with my father along the roads and he then telling me: ‘Look at that man, he’s tearing down olive trees apart to farm avocados!’, as it was something basically nuts”. But, as time will tell, avocado was “the salvation of our lands”, in spite of its complex farming. Mango is capable to adapt to every condition, he tells us, “needing less water and being able to grow even in a steep slope”, but avocado is much more fragile, and “it will not grow when there’s some slate or cray”.
We asked Juan what would be, for him, the main reason for the success of these tropical products here at the Axarquia, and he doesn’t hesitate: “our weather”. Also the observation and the constant dialogue between different farmers, that convinced each other that this kind of eccentric idea “was finally working great”. This, in fact, was “a much needed economic impulse to our place”, with big companies that generate a lot of work, “specially during the two months recollection of mango and the four of avocado”.
But let’s not forget another important detail: the fact that “we finally get used to consume them and cook them, knowing their uses and benefits from skin to bone”. Juan thinks that maybe mango was more rapidly accepted than avocado, because it’s basically sweeter. With all the information we have known about the great benefits of avocado, now he sees it perfectly adapted to our daily routine, but he smiles when remembers that “a couple of decades from now, you can be sure that even some families that farmed avocados didn’t know exactly how to use them at their kitchens”.