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Cultivation and harvesting of coffee

Attibassi and attention to its dealers

The rich and enveloping scent of coffee beans is given by about 800 aromas and flavors they contain. In order for them to be fully appreciated, all the steps that lead to obtaining the coffee in a cup must be performed in a workmanlike manner, starting with the cultivation and harvesting of the beans.

Attibassi pursues these objectives to ensure that both its coffee dealers and suppliers and the entrepreneurs who have opened a coffee shop through Attibassi licensing – know how to give and tell customers the experience of a unique coffee with excellent quality.

Il Caffè - Piante da interno - Pianta caffè

Coffee cultivation and sowing

The refined art of making coffee primarily involves cultivation and careful harvesting of the plant’s fruits. Characteristics such as soil composition, temperature, altitude and harvesting method are decisive. The coffee plant propagates by sowing or by cutting, and before reaching full maturity to produce its fruits (called drupes or cherries, of which they have color and shape), about four years must pass.

The coffee plant (or tree) thrives well in countries with a hot and humid climate, with temperatures between 18 and 22 degrees. The ideal would be not to exceed 20 degrees. It is grown in about 90 countries and the main areas are located between the Tropic of Cancer and that of Capricorn. In the subtropical areas the plants are grown in the open field, while in the tropical ones the plants need shade and need to be protected from currents: they are in fact planted next to taller and larger plants such as banana and castor trees to ensure them plenty of shade.

From sowing to plant

A coffee drupe normally contains two coffee beans.

For sowing, only the best coffee “cherries” are chosen to extract, after removing the pulp, the beans / seeds to be planted. In particular, the so-called “pergaminos” are used: grains protected by a casing that are able to germinate.

The first sprouts appear after about 10 weeks, with the partial presence of the parchment wrapping of the coffee bean. In some plantations, when they reach a height of 5-10 centimeters, they are planted individually in tall pots, or in plastic bags and entrusted to nurseries. In the following 4-5 months, the plants by now 30-40 centimeters are transplanted into the plantations.

The first flowering occurs around the third year and the first harvest in the fourth year of life, even if not very consistent. A normal harvest can only be obtained between the fifth and seventh year of life. The first flowering occurs around the third year and the first harvest in the fourth year of life, even if not very consistent. A normal harvest can only be obtained between the fifth and seventh year of life.

Arabica flowers pollinate themselves (autogamous), while those of Robusta are pollinated by insects that are attracted by the strong scent emitted by this species. The coffee flower then produces the drupe.

Coffee plants produce fruit continuously: after each shower – following the fourth year of life – flowers are born, and after about 7/9 months the cherries are ripe. Due to this fact, in the years in which there is abundant rain, it is normal to find uneven fruiting on the same plant and therefore you can have flowers, unripe fruit and ripe fruit at the same time.

La pianta del caffè: origine e curiosità | Pasqualini Caffè


The harvesting period depends on various aspects: first of all it varies geographically and not only from continent to continent, but also from country to country. The other important variable is the climate which affects the altitude and the seasons together. For example, from May to September is the harvest period that takes place in Brazil. In Central America it takes place from October to March. In Africa it occurs between late October and early April, while in Asia from November to April.

The fact that the coffee plant blooms and produces its fruit according to the rains that have fallen heavily affects the method of harvesting ripe cherries. The drupes can be picked by hand, one by one, or by vigorously passing the branches of the plant between the fingers of the hand. In the first case we are talking about picking, in the second about stripping.

Picking is more expensive precisely because it is done exclusively by hand and the drupes are selected directly on the plant. This means that the workers have to go between the rows several times a week to collect all the drupes that ripen in a different way. Qualitatively it gives better yields. Stripping is a slightly more aggressive methodology. Sometimes it is performed with the help of long sticks to drop the drupes on clean ground or on cloths previously laid on the ground, a bit like harvesting olives. Other times it is done with the help of special mechanical binders. With stripping, drupes are harvested at various points of ripeness: from ripe cherries to unripe ones, sometimes to rotten ones; the leaves of the plant and small twigs are also collected. Therefore, the quality of the harvest obtained with this method is often lower than that which can be obtained with picking, but higher in terms of quantity.

Depending on whether one of the two methods is used, there are repercussions on the final taste of the coffee: with picking the beans are chosen at the same level of ripeness, while with stripping the presence of cherries in different ripening stages risks giving results. “Swinging”. The presence of unripe seeds, for example, makes the coffee more bitter and more astringent. The two harvesting methods must therefore be carefully dosed, in order to have optimal yields and an always high quality level. To understand how much work is required for coffee harvesting, just think that to get half a kilo of coffee you need two and a half kilos of cherries.

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Growing the banana plant, how to do it

The banana tree, scientific names Musa acuminata and Musa balbisiana, is commonly mistaken for a tree, but it is actually a plant belonging to the Musaceae family, order of the Zingiberales.
The banana plant is typical of the sub-tropical areas of the planet. Its fruits, bananas, are known and consumed all over the world and Italy is one of the major importers.

Not many know that banana trees can also be grown in Italy, especially in the South, where winters are less severe. For many years, in fact, these plants have been successfully cultivated in Sicily and on the coasts of Calabria
The ongoing climate changes are inevitably changing the course of the seasons and the plants that we once considered exotic are now adaptable to the Mediterranean climate. So let’s see what are the cultural needs of this much loved fruit.

History and spread of the banana tree

Casco di banane

The banana is a botanical species native to Africa, exported to various continents after the colonial conquests.
Currently, as well as in Africa, it is intensively cultivated in three other continents: America, Asia and Oceania.
The major world producers are: Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Dominican Republic, Guatemala and Brazil.
In Europe, crops of some importance are found in Portugal and the Canary Islands. In any case, even if they are not among the largest producers, the European countries are the largest consumers.

Worldwide bananas are divided into fruits intended for fresh consumption (desserts) and fruits used in cooking (cooking).
The dessert ones are in turn divided into two subgroups.
The first is the Cavendish subgroup, the most important in world trade. It includes most of the exported varieties, such as Williams and Grand Nain. These are the bananas that can be found in most supermarkets in European countries.
The second is the Silk subgroup, which has greater relevance for the local markets of producing countries. This subgroup includes varieties such as: Apple, Silk Fig and Silver.
In Italy, precisely in Sicily, the cultivar Comune di Sicilia has spread. It is a very rustic variety with smaller fruits, which easily reach maturity.

The banana plant

The banana plant is a perennial herbaceous type. Its appearance is very similar to a tree, as it is majestic and reaches a considerable size. Some specimens can even exceed 5 m. However, it is a herbaceous plant, because it has no woody tissues. In addition, the aerial parts of the mother plant fall to the ground after the growing season.
The fact that this fruit plant is a perennial is due to the fact that it emits suckers at the base of the mother plant. These then take over and replace the mother herself.

The banana cycle

pianta di banano giovane

Let’s explain it better, the natural cycle of the banana tree begins when the sprout (the sucker), which grows next to the main plant (mother), appears at ground level. The sucker grows, emitting leaves until flowering, then develops the inflorescence and fruits, forming the famous bunch of bananas. After the banana harvest, the leaves dry up and the plant dies.
The next sucker (son), which always appears next to the “new” mother plant, will replace the dead plant in the previous season. This keeps the process on an ongoing basis. The entire cycle, from the appearance of the sucker to the collection of the helmet, lasts about a year.
This extraordinary process is due to the presence of a powerful rhizomatous root system, capable of generating the new suckers.
The mother plant emits many, but the farmer keeps only two to renew the life cycle in a balanced way.

The stem and leaves

Foglie di pianta di banane

The trunk of the banana plant does not actually have a woody consistency, and in fact it is called a pseudo-stem. It is a compact mass of overlapping and spirally arranged sheaths of leaves.
The pseudo-stem of the banana plant is very fleshy, and consists mainly of water. Despite this, it is sturdy enough and can hold a bunch of bananas weighing 50kg or more.
Inside the pseudo-stem there is a stem. The pseudostem continues to elongate until the stem, which has developed inside, emerges in the upper part of the plant.
At this point, the leaves begin to differentiate from the pseudostem and grow into their typical shape.

The leaf is the main photo-synthetic organ of the banana tree. Each emerges from the center of the pseudo-stem like a rolled cylinder. The distal end of the elongated leaf sheath contracts into a petiole, more or less open depending on the cultivar. The petiole becomes the central part, which ideally divides the leaf in two.


Fiori e frutti su albero

The inflorescence of the banana plant is a complex structure, which botanically takes the name of thyrse.
In the banana tree, female, male and hermaphrodite flowers develop. Therefore, the plants are self-fertile and do not need cross-pollination with other plants.
Female (pistillate) flowers appear from a bract (modified leaf, associated with a reproductive structure, such as a flower). They come out first and show themselves as a bunch of flowers, usually arranged in two rows. These flowers will eventually develop into fruit and are called mani.
The number of hands (which will eventually form the helmet) in the female bunch is variable. It depends on the number of female clusters in the inflorescence, on the genotype and on the environmental conditions.
The distal portion of the inflorescence elongates and produces clusters of male flowers (staminates), each subtended by a bract. In cultivated bananas, the male flowers produce fertile pollen.


Banane mature

As it ripens, the fruit grows. The peel of the banana, over time, begins to turn from dark green to light, up to yellow.
They are usually harvested when they are still green and the single fruit is called “fingers”.
The banana pulp is yellowish, sweet and soft. One weighs an average of 125 g, of which 75% is made up of water and the rest of dry matter.
Under the protective skin run numerous and long filaments.
The bananas of the dessert varieties are easily divided along their length into three distinct parts. These correspond to the internal parts of the three carpels of the female flower.
In the middle of the fruit you can see tiny black grains, these are the non-viable seeds (i.e. without the ability to germinate)


The flavor of bananas is greatly influenced by temperatures and the degree of ripeness.
Fruits ripened at high temperatures and harvested when they are almost yellow, will be sweeter.
Bananas harvested still very unripe and ripened in more difficult environmental conditions, will have a less pleasant taste and a more turgid consistency.
In our latitudes, bananas are ready for harvesting between late summer and early autumn.

How to grow banana

The banana plant is typical of sub-tropical countries. These are characterized by a warm and humid climate, without too many excesses of cold or heat.
The optimal temperature range for vegetative growth is between 26 and 30 ° C. Growth stops when the temperature exceeds 38 * C, or drops below 14 ° C.
The banana can therefore be grown outdoors only in the very mild areas of our country, namely the coastal areas of the Center and the South.
If in winter the temperatures drop below freezing for too long, the plant risks being irreparably damaged.
However, an excellent solution is that of greenhouse cultivation, choosing the most rustic varieties. In this way the plant will be safeguarded in the coldest periods of the year.

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Grow Indoor Tobacco

Tobacco is the common name of several plants that belong to the Nicotiana genus and fall under the Solanaceae family (aka Belladonna) and the general term for any product prepared from the dried leaves of the tobacco plant. More than 70 species of tobacco are known, but the main commercial crop is Nicotian tabacum. The more potent Nicotian rustic variant is also used around the world. Dried tobacco leaves are consumed by smokers, minced in cigars, cigarettes, or as pipe products and in hookahs. Tobacco leaves can also be simply chewed or smelled demented.

The most common tobaccos grown in Italy are the famous Virginia, very popular in Veneto and Umbria, Badischer, Paraguay and also Burley, mostly grown in southern regions such as Campania. grown mostly in Campania, Kentucky, Tuscany, Herzegovina and Xanthi Yakà, in Puglia, Perustitza, in Abruzzo, Havanna and Maryland, in Lazio. It is possible to grow outside in Italy, but only during the spring and warmer months. For tobacco, an annual rainfall of 50-100 cm and a temperature of 15-20 ° C during the growing period is ideal. However, if you decide to grow indoors, you won’t struggle to keep the temperature constant and you won’t have to worry about rain.

Is it legal to grow tobacco?

Currently YES, even at home. The production of tobacco in Italy no longer falls under the State Monopoly after the approval of the Decree Law of November 30, 1970, N ° 870, so it is no longer necessary to communicate its cultivation to the authorities.

How to grow tobacco indoors

If you love the nutty aroma of fresh tobacco, growing some tobacco plants is a great way to enjoy them at home. While it can be difficult to grow tobacco indoors, part of the fun of gardening and caring for plants is facing a big challenge. However, we suggest that you never smoke or chew the tobacco you grow at home, as it is impossible to determine the nicotine content and chemical composition. Nonetheless, growing tobacco indoors is a fun way to push your plant growing skills to the next level. The tobacco plant also requires a lot of pruning, which is fun if you find pruning the plants therapeutic!

Germination of seeds

1 Place small, shallow germination trays inside a larger container.

Take a few small grow containers and line them up inside a large basin or shallow container. The size of each container does not necessarily matter, as you will repot the seedlings once they have grown. Those germination trays are perfect for this, but you can also use seed pots or tubs of ice cream with holes in the bottom. You may find our Germination Kits useful.

  • Tobacco seeds require a lot of water and the large container will prevent moisture from escaping.

2 Fill your containers with seed growing mix or pre-fertilized potting soil.

Get some soil suitable for germination. Fill each of your small containers with soil. Do not compact the soil after filling the containers but leave it vaporous to allow the small shoots to emerge effortlessly.

  • You can also use a combination of fine earth and sand if you don’t want to buy a seed growing mix.
  • Tobacco tends to be quite tough and will grow in a variety of different soil compositions. Temperature and lighting are much more important when it comes to making sure plants bloom.

3 Spread a thin layer of nitrogen-rich fertilizer on the soil.

Take a liquid fertilizer that is high in nitrogen and rich in potassium. Spread a thin layer of fertilizer over the soil and wait a week or so to give the soil time to absorb the nutrients from the fertilizer.

  • If you’re using a nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium-rich starting soil, you can probably avoid adding fertilizer. Most outdoor-grown tobacco doesn’t need it, so if your soil is healthy and full of nutrients, it will probably be fine.

4 Buy your seeds from a high quality source.

Tobacco seeds are extremely small, so you don’t need a large package to grow a few plants indoors. There are many varieties of tobacco, but the most popular are Virginia, Burley and Oriental Tobacco. They have different growth times, but the same process is used to grow each species. Buy your seeds from a reliable source.

  • You may need to purchase your tobacco seeds online, depending on where you live. Some countries, states, and regions don’t allow the sale of tobacco seeds, but you can buy them online if it’s legal to grow tobacco where you live.

5 Sprinkle the tobacco seeds on the ground and leave them uncovered.

Pour a pinch of seeds onto a sheet of paper. Carefully and slowly slide a small amount of seeds across the soil to spread the seeds over your containers. Tobacco seeds are incredibly small, and a tiny pinch can produce up to 100 plants, so don’t overdo the seed spread.

  • Tobacco seeds are delicate and their microscopic size makes them difficult to plant individually. Spreading the seeds on the ground is the only realistic way to do this.

6 Water the soil until the larger container fills with some water.

Fill a watering can and slowly water the soil. Refill and continue watering the soil until the large container fills with approximately one to two inches of water. Don’t compact the soil and don’t worry about covering the seeds with potting soil.

  • Tobacco seeds are extremely thirsty and need a lot of water to germinate.

7 Cover the container and keep the area around the seeds at 24-27 ° C.

Get some newspaper or a clear plastic lid. Spread the newspapers over the large container or use the plastic lid to cover your seeds. This will keep some of the moisture inside the grow containers. Place the grow container in an area of ​​your home that always stays between 24-27 ° C. If the weather is particularly cold, you can use heating mats.

  • The area around the ground cannot drop below 21 ° C. If you want, you can place a heater or grow light to keep the area warm. Seeds don’t need light, but it won’t hurt either.

8 Keep the soil moist and wait 3-14 days for the seedlings to germinate.

As long as the water at the bottom of the larger container evaporates, you probably won’t need to water the soil while you wait for the seeds to germinate. However, check the soil every day to make sure it is still wet. If it dries out completely, water the soil a little to keep it moist. Your seedlings will sprout in about 3-14 days.

  • If your seeds don’t germinate after 2 weeks or so, you probably haven’t kept the plants warm enough. Empty the containers and try again

Take care of your tobacco

1 Eliminate seedlings that don’t look healthy and straight.

A pinch of seeds can produce hundreds of tobacco plants, so keep only those seedlings that look healthy and upright. Tobacco grows very tall, so if you keep those lopsided plants, sooner or later they will fall off and die. You’ll likely see dozens of stems come out of the seed tray, so pick 2-10 plants you want to keep.

  • These cute little plants will eventually grow into huge plants. Unless you’ve set up a commercial greenhouse, there’s no way to realistically take care of all those seedlings.

2 Repot each seedling in a pot that holds between 6.5 and 7.6 liters of soil

Get separate pots for each individual plant you want to grow, fill the new containers with well-draining potting soil and indent the center of the container with your finger. Gently harvest the seedling without damaging the roots and place the plants you have decided to grow in their new containers.

  • If any of the tobacco seedlings begin to lean or lean at an angle after transplanting, you can support them with a wooden skewer or popsicle stick.

3 Put your plants under a light and leave it on for 16 hours a day.

You can buy a LED or CFL lamp. Place it so that the light is suspended about 60cm above the seedlings and turn it on. Leave this light on for 16 hours a day as your seedlings mature.

  • CFL lights are much cheaper than LED grow lights, but LED lights will last much longer. However, it’s all a matter of personal preference. Tobacco plants just want the light, they don’t necessarily care where it comes from!
  • If you have a nice east or south-east facing window, or an extremely sunny area, you may be able to grow tobacco there. Seedlings need a lot of light to reach maturity, so it’s best to use a grow light if you want to make sure your plants thrive.
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Cultivation of broad beans, how and when to do it

The broad bean is a truly precious legume for the garden: firstly because its seed resists winter in the field and is therefore one of the very few horticultural plants that can be sown in November, secondly because like other plants legumes add nitrogen to the soil, enriching the soil.

Let’s learn more about the methods and timing of sowing this crop. Those wishing to continue reading can then move on to the complete guide on how to grow beans in the organic garden. From the depth of sowing to the phases of the moon, let’s see together all the useful information to start growing this legume.

When to sow broad beans

There are two possible sowing periods for the fava bean (vicia faba): you can choose to put the legume in the ground in autumn, so between October and November, or opt for a spring sowing, planting the seed between February and March. Winter sowing accelerates the development of the plant which, as soon as the winter cold is over, can develop at its best, in areas where it is very cold, however, it is better to wait for March to arrive.

The right moon phase for beans

First of all, it should be specified that there is no scientific proof of a real influence on agriculture by the phases of the moon, however the custom of following the moon for sowing is still rooted in the agricultural tradition based on centuries of experience. The broad bean is a plant cultivated for its fruit and therefore should be sown on a growing moon, which is said to have a positive influence on the development of the aerial part of the plants and in particular on flowering and fruiting. However, legumes are very robust seeds and plants that develop in any case: even if the beans are sown on a waning moon it is not a problem. On Orto Da Coltivare at the request of many of you we have included a calendar of the moon phases, if you want to follow them you will find a useful reference.

Sowing depth and planting depth

An old rule is to bury each seed at least twice its size, applying it to the bean we are not wrong. We then put the seeds to a depth of 4-5 centimeters. It is not necessary to take care of the direction of the seed, you can bury the legume as it happens, it will still be able to make its way towards the surface, it is a particularly vigorous seed. The beans can be sown in a row, digging a sowing furrow, or in postarelle. If you decide to put them in the groove, make the rows about 70 centimeters apart and place the seeds every 20 centimeters, if you prefer the holes they should be kept at least 60 centimeters from each other.

Before sowing the bean, the soil must be worked in depth, I recommend moving the earth with a spade or better still with a digging fork. The clods are then broken by hoeing and eventually incorporating organic substance and nutrients to the soil, the bean can be fertilized with mature manure or compost, in moderate quantities. It is also good to sprinkle wood ash as fertilizer, but even in this case you must not exceed it. After working the soil, the seed-bed must be refined, leveling it with a rake. On this level the grooves of the rows will be traced or the holes for the postarelle will be dug into which to put the beans.