Campo Laguna Blanca
One of the most recently acquired farms, Laguna Blanca is in the midst of a dramatic transformation from industrial monoculture to organic polyculture. Comprising more than 7,000 acres at the confluence of the Feliciano and Parana rivers in northeastern Argentina’s Entre Ríos Province, Laguna Blanca offers an opportunity to develop a model of diversified organic agriculture for the region.
When it was purchased in 2007, Laguna Blanca was in serious need of restoration: its infrastructure needed attention, and its soils were eroding away. At the farm headquarters, several new buildings—an office, kitchen area, quincho (the traditional thatch-roofed outbuilding for barbecueing, or asado), employee housing, barns, machinery sheds, and bodegas—have all been completed.
To counter erosion, terraces were built to create level fields in which a variety of grains—including oats, flax, sorghum, barley, and wheat—are now grown. New orchards produce eleven fruit and nut species, including peaches, pears, olives, dates, hazelnuts, pecans, and almonds. Many aromatic and herbal species are being cultivated alongside a wide assortment of horticulture crops, many of which are perennial varieties requiring zero tilling. Sheep graze in restored native pastures, and hay is made to feed them through the winter from the grasses surrounding the orchards. The practicality of this polyculture style of farming is becoming increasingly evident as interactions between diverse crops, healthy soils, and native wildlife are improving the farm’s yields.