A green belt of vegetables and aromatics grows in Calamuchita

Miles de cabezas de ajo y de cebolla. Acelga, espinaca, coliflor, remolacha. Esas y muchas más verduras y hortalizas apuntan al sol, con las sierras de fondo: son casi una disrupción entre los emprendimientos turísticos sembrados en las afueras de Villa General Belgrano, en el valle de Calamuchita.Un cinturón verde de verduras y aromáticas crece en Calamuchita Un cinturón verde de verduras y aromáticas crece en Calamuchita

In a field, on the route to Los Reartes, a "green belt" was planted a year ago with claims to grow up to meet the local demand for greenery, restaurants and hotels, in addition to providing food to community canteens and spaces linked to the municipality, the initiator of the initiative.

The enterprise is unprecedented in this tourist area. But he has a close history in the city of Almafuerte. The agronomist Mauro Lassa, coordinator of the project, also participated in the initiative that repopulated the periphery of Almafuerte from orchards. Lassa is a teacher and is preparing her master's thesis in territorial development at the UTN of Rafaela.

Close the circle

The ultimate purpose is to create a circuit of "circular economy", which reuses organic waste and avoids the transit of freight to other cities in search of the food that can be produced, and organically, at the local level. Let the resources not cross the borders of the people.

"the ultimate goal is local food production based on agroecology, to help reduce carbon dioxide emissions, which is achieved by reducing the number of trips to look for vegetables, stop burning pruning to transform it into organic matter, and produce healthy and fresh food. Besides, let the money circulate, Don't leave the place, "Lassa says.

Through scholarships, six women and two men work in entrepreneurship. The idea is for them to form a labour cooperative to manage themselves.

Un cinturón verde de verduras y aromáticas crece en Calamuchita

There are now four hectares cultivated: two with vegetables, one and a half with alfalfa for chickens and a half with aromatics. They plan to add one more shortly. "agroecology is based on biodiversity," the teacher explains.

They also received a first batch of laying hens that feed on balanced more pastures, which will produce "agroecological" eggs.

Lassa argues that they do not use petroleum agrochemicals. They generate fertilizer with composting of the local green waste. "everything that is pruned is transformed into food for the earth and thus the circle is closing," he insists. They also use biols, organic foliar fertiliser, the result of an anaerobic digestion process of organic animal and plant remains.


Recently they received a tractor from the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock and the Inta de Manfredi is moving forward with a project to systematize irrigation.

Lassa adds that they presented a project to the Nation to increase the scale of composting and to generate a biofast from the municipal green residues and the cleaning of the sheep, swine, avian and bovine pens in the area.

"the idea is to triple the amount of vegetables, double the amount of eggs and generate a biofast, with the local production of biols and composting. Also, to move forward in a buffer zone around the village, "the coordinator anticipates. In this way, they could expand this line of sustainable economy, adding more production spaces.

From Venezuela

Doctor Aracelys Romero (48) claims that she arrived in Villa General Belgrano on the recommendation of Google. Originally from Cuba, 16 years ago she was based in Venezuela. Two years ago, he decided to quit his job as teacher coordinator of a MIC university (community integral doctors) and his ultrasound office, which was overshadowed by an indomitable economy, and headed for Argentina. The promise of a job at a clinic in Formosa diluted along the way.

He then placed on the Internet search engine suggestions for "better destinations to live in Argentina". And Villa General Belgrano appeared on the scene, a tourist place in Córdoba that excited her. From his experience of life in Cuba and Venezuela, both tourists, he thought: "if there is tourism, there is work." But the equation wasn't that easy.

Along with his son Damián (23) and his sister Evelyn (33), they arrived after a hard journey from Venezuela to Córdoba.

He didn't do well the first time in Calamuchita. The pandemic rocked them and closed the restaurant where they got work. Taking care of an elderly couple, Aracelys earned 13,000 pesos, just as he went for rent. After accumulating several bad experiences, he received the proposal from the municipality to work on the agricultural project and, in turn, to become "houses" of space. And there they are.

"VGB x VGB" is called the project promoted by the municipality of Villa General Belgrano that encourages local production and consumption. In addition to the orchard, a sewing workshop was also set up that makes the work clothes of the staff of the different municipal areas and also started to make garments for local institutions and shops.

Meanwhile, the sun falls and an orchard grows between cabins and hotels.