On the 29th November the second-year, superior-level farming students attended the ´Biomass Heaters for the farming sector` technical day. The aim of the get-together was to provide information about the possibilities provided by renewable bio fuel. The seminar was given by Mrs Mireia Codina, technician of Forestry Use and Biomass at the Centre Tecnològic de Catalunya (CTFC). Mrs Codina spoke about the benefits of using bio fuel when applied to the environment, transport and biomass administration (e.g. various systems of distribution, food etc...). Examples of its use by businesses, farms, greenhouses and buildings in the sector were given.
On the 20th November the first year, medium-level farming students went to visit a couple of horticultural businesses as part of their study plan schedule. On the visit they were able to see first-hand the production and commerce management of the Casa Ametller company. The students first visited a farm in Argentona, which grows lettuce, then moved on to Llavaneres where they visited various greenhouses used to grow tomatoes. It was a very enriching day in which everyone was able to compare the different visions applied to agrarian produce. At the very end all the students posed for a group photo. Lovely!
At Quintanes the course trips form an integral part of the success of each course. They allow students to really understand the subjects worked on and areas studied over the two years. They also enable students to get to know each other and form friendships.
In the first week of October the first year, medium level gardening students went on their course trip to the Cote d'Azur in France. Over the seven days there we visited 8 gardens and protected zones with the aim of seeing the typical features of Mediterranean gardens, designs, plant recognition, growth techniques and maintanance of green spaces. We visited the following places; “La Banbouseraie” in Domaine de Prafrance, the botanic garden “Hanbury” in Ventimiglia, the medieval garden “Sainte Agnès” in Menton, the protected green area of “Domaine du Rayol”, the gardens at “Villa Ephursi de Rotschield” in St Jean Cap Ferrat, the Japanese garden in Monaco and “La Fontaine” garden at Nimes.
On Thursday, 14th of November the first year gardening students went on a series of visits to see first-hand the different types of machinery used in the world of gardening. First we went to see Honda Greens in La Garriga, where Mr Pedro Sillero, technician for the company, showed us different models made by brands like Honda, Echo and Silky, explaining the details of each. Then, in the afternoon, we went on to visit the Outils Wolf company in Sant Feliu de Buixalleu, where we saw and tried some of their machines, and also used different lawn mowers and etesia-type trimmers. The school would like to thank all the people who hosted us and helped in our students` learning on the day. Best wishes.
Nearly seven years ago we made our first course trip to Aragon. This year we've continued the annual tradition and gone their with the first year, superior level farming students. On the way there we stopped to visit the Sant Josep farm, which specializes in producing milk. Once in Ejea and settled at the ´El Bolaso` camp site we started on the programme of visits we had planned. All the people and companies that hosted us over the week were very welcoming and helped us in every way possible. A big thanks to them! They are the following,
This week we've been to visit the Anglada family, owners of the Coll Fred company. This business is located in the Vidrà area of the Garrotxa region where it produces and sells high quality meat and cured ham products from its own shops.
Our first year superior-level pig breeding students were able to see first-hand how and why the company has become a leader in its sector. The whole process starts at Mas Cavaller de Baix where the company selects with precision and care the animals of the Llemosina breed. The students were also able to see the workshop where the pork and beef based end products are actually made.
For more information see;
Course Objective: This course is aimed at those involved in the above areas. Its objective is to train attendees to be specialised in animal welfare during the transportation process. Course dates: On Fridays 3rd, 10th, 17th, 24th and 31st of January 2014. From 17.00 until 21.00. General part: 190€. Specialised part: 75€
On the 4th of December this year we will host a technical day at Quintanes called ´Pruning criteria; synthesis and practise.` It will be hosted by the biologist and tree-specialist Mr Josep Selga.
09.30: Introduction; given by Mr Antoni Martorell, director of EFA Quintanes.
09.45: Tree reading; given by Mr Josep Selga.
11.15: Coffee break.
11.45: Technical criteria for pruning; given by Mr Josep Selga.
13.15: Day's closure.
On the 29th of October the second year, superior level pig breeding students visited the Viladordis area, in the county of Bages, to see the Tatjé family farm. Years ago the family had wanted to expand the farm and decided to breed rabbits. They already had cows and had moved into pigeon breeding as well. At present they have 550 hybrid mother rabbits and sell 50% of the stock to butchers in the region. As mentioned, the family has also been able to make reality an idea they had had in mind for many years, that of breeding pigeons. They now have 250 pairs which on average produce 16 young a year. They sell them directly to the restaurant industry.
During the last fortnight the first year medium-level forestry students went on a study visit to the MAP Foundation in Ripoll. The head of the gardening and forestry department, Agustí Fajula, explained to the group how the section is organised and how the tasks of the more than 40 workers are planned. He gave a number of useful pieces of advice on how to find work and then stressed the importance of safety at work. To finish we were able to see one of his teams at work.
Several weeks ago we took advantage of the good relationship we have with our neighbours here at the school to take the first year medium-level pig breeding and production students to the nearby Granja Soler farm. Once we had arrived at the farm we were met and hosted by Mr Toni Soler, son of Mr Jacint Soler who founded the ´Soler Ramaders` company 50 years ago in the middle of Sant Hipòlit, with 4 sows and the young they produced. Right now the company has 1850 sows and a capacity to breed more than 20,000 animals.
During the week of the 28th October to the 1st November the first year, higher level students of forestry went on a study trip to Sòria. There they made many visits related to their field of study and the region's foresty management, in which students learned a great deal about the way forests are utilised. It was especially interesting as the region's system of forestry management differs somewhat from our own in Catalonia. Students discovered new ways of working.
On the 22nd of October some of the school's students visited El Serradet de Barneres farm, in l'Esquirol. This is a small-scale business dedicated to the production and sale of sheep 's milk products, these include cream cheese and yoghurt, as well as cured cheese in the near future. We were well looked after by Sergi and Maria, two of the three partners. It was especially interesting to see how they succesfully operate, given that they do not come from a farming background. Their philosophy dictates that they grow gradually until they can make a reasonable living from the enterprise. The maximum number of sheep they plan to have is 100, at present they have a herd of 70.
On the 24th of October the first year students from the forestry and environment management course visited thefacilities of two important forestry-related companies; the forest nurseries of Forestal Catalana in Breda and Vivers Tortadès in Sant Hilari de Sacalm. In both places the students learned about the production process,work management, the facilities and machinery used. In addition, they enjoyed the demonstrations of soil and plant extraction out in the field.
From the 15th to the 24th of November the University of Vic is organising their 18th Science Week. Quintanes School is certainly participating in a talk about ´Alternance Pedagogy`, as well as an activity of ´Discovering autumn forest vegetation. It will no doubt be of great interest!