THE Vega Baja artichoke harvest has officially begun.
The first of the season was cut by Rojales-born chef Jose Luis Cases, winner of the Valencian Community’s Best Tapa competition.
The event was hosted by Rojales mayor Antonio Perez, and attended by Mireia Molla, who heads the regional government’s Agriculture department, Diputacion president Carlos Mazon and the Generalitat’s delegate to Alicante province, Antonia Moreno, amongst others.
“Following last year’s Dana storms, we are approaching this new season with enthusiasm, hope, renewed energy and strength of character,” declared the president of the Vega Baja Artichoke Association, Diego Martinez.
“The jewel of the huerta has returned, satisfying the demands of consumers who appreciate the quality and tenderness of our artichokes,” Martinez said.
The local artichokes were increasingly important in the national sector, he added, as they came from the country’s second most important production zone which was also Spain’s leading exporter.
Growers had planted 1,800 hectares of artichokes in 2020, 15 per cent below the levels of previous years, Martinez revealed.
This was due to losing so many rootstalks during the DANA floods and also to the growers’ financial losses.
“But if all goes according to plan the Vega Baja can still produce 22,000 tons of artichokes,” he declared.
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