Long before La Furtuna Estate, ancient Pheonecians and Greeks civilized the sloping hills of the Sicani Mountains where the Estate resides. Springing from the depths of the mountain range, beautiful, crystalline waters feed into the valley below to support the thriving ecology that inhabited the region for millennia. Home to hundreds of rare flora and numerous fauna species today, the mountains and its flowing rivers have become a vital ecological and heritage site for Sicily and are protected as a biopreserve.
Braided into the biopreserve, La Furtuna Estate works in harmony with the land and its bountiful flora and fauna. Mountain spring fed streams ribbon through the farm, while forest vegetation, shrubs, and grasslands are folded into the farm’s arable land and centuries-old olive groves, serving as refuge for a large number of wildlife and botanicals.
Under the helm of the farm’s master botanist Pasquale “Mimmo” Marino, every decision made on the farm ties back to its ecological impact. For a healthy ecology, a thriving biodiversity is essential. Each microbe, plant, insect, amphibian, bird, and mammal depends on the patterns and presence of the other. By not only supporting, but prioritizing the health and well being of native species within the biopreserve, Mimmo has nurtured a thriving environment in which to grow our organic heirloom produce. Cyclical as nature is, the health of the farm’s biodiversity eliminates any need for chemical herbicides and pesticides, which in turn helps to promote the health of the wild flora and fauna that inhabit the Sicani Biopreserve.
By continued research into the presence of various species on the farm, Mimmo has been able to track the health of our overall ecosystem. The farm serves as a wintering home for a number of birds, as well as a permanent refuge for vital species of falcons, eagles, owls, and partridge. With a bountiful population of Savis Pine Mole on the farm, the presence of rare, declining species such as Bonelli’s eagle can be supported. Thriving and diverse vegetation supports a thriving insectarium, which in turn feeds rare and declining species such as the Eurasian skylark, and Sicilian rock partridge. Similarly, the resurgence of the European bee-eater signifies the recovery of a thriving Sicilian bee population, indicating a strong pollination program for the plants, both agricultural as well as natural, on the farm. And, of course, there are the farm’s furry helpers, Tommy and Ricky, who masterfully sniff out wild truffles, and are rewarded with loving scratches behind their ears and wag their tails in affection and joy for a job well done.
From moles, rabbits, hares, and foxes, to birds of prey, partridge, doves, and dogs, fauna are integral to the ecological balance of the farm’s environmental health and balance. Ultimately, they help to provide a balanced ecosystem for natural pest control and pollination for flora across the farm and extending biopreserve. Much like the delicate balance that dictates the ecological health of an environmental zone, our health is dependent on its environment and the fuel that we provide it with. It is this ethos that drives Bona Furtuna and allows us to produce the clean, nutrient-rich, and delicious food that we do with great pride.