Purchased, in 1967, by his father, the 30 hectares of Quinta do Arneiro, in the western region, initially served for the cultivation of Rocha pear.
João Rodrigues, Feitoria
Texto de Patrícia Serrado
Fotografias de Vânia Rodrigues
Purchased, in 1967, by his father, the 30 hectares of Quinta do Arneiro, in the western region, initially served for the cultivation of Rocha pear. Despite her regular presence, Luísa Almeida returned to the field in 1986 and, after 21 years, stayed with this property in her hands. First with the vegetable garden and baskets and, later, with the restaurant and other activities related to what the land gives.
The surrounding landscape follows the trends of the season as far as colors are concerned. The same is said about the agricultural work carried out at Quinta do Arneiro, the property of Luísa Almeida, located in the parish of Azueira, in the municipality of Mafra, where seasonality is taken seriously. After all, "we are talking about a brand, a brand that people trust, and we have products that people want", she explains. The extensive list of vegetables, all certified by SATIVA, is governed by diversity. There is kohlrabi, pack choi cabbage, chard, turnip greens, spinach, lettuce, arugula, tomatoes, cucumbers, aubergines ... As for the fruit, production is limited to strawberries.
Let's do it by steps. The total delivery to the property by Luísa Almeida took place in 2007, precisely when she decided to convert one hectare of land to organic production. Two years later, she harvested the first production from this agricultural practice. Today, the bet on organic production covers eleven hectares, including the three greenhouses gradually implemented by the owner, to protect the productions from the adverse conditions experienced during summer and winter.
Since then, Luísa Almeida has proved unstoppable. The farm's dynamics also begin with the sale of its vegetables at the organic produce fair in Cascais. Today, the extended itinerary already reaches the other side of the Tagus River, with Almada and Alcochete, for example, on the map of the itinerary of the owner of Quinta do Arneiro, in addition to Mafra, Sintra, Oeiras, Amadora, Lisbon, and Vila Franca de Xira.
However, the baskets brought greater prominence to the farm. To its composition, mostly made up of vegetables from the property, it adds products from other producers in the country, which also have biological certification. According to Luísa Almeida's calculations, the sale of the baskets exceeds 3800 per month and is around 900 per week.
In June 2016 it was the restaurant's turn, “a place where people come to eat what is, at that moment, in the countryside”. That is why, on the website, Luísa Almeida writes that at Quinta do Arneiro there is a vegetable garden with a restaurant open from Wednesday to Saturday, at lunchtime. Without forgetting the store, where jams, juices, soups, pickles, and pies are available for purchase, from Wednesday to Saturday, from 9 am to 6 pm.