On Thursday 18th of April the second year Medium-level Gardening course students visited the gardening business, Cultius Roig, in Premià de Mar, dedicated to the production of ornamental plants. Fifty percent of their products are different varieties of geraniums. They also produce ecological plants for foreign markets, in particular Germany. The Production Technician Mr David Serra explained to us about the different phases of production, from in vitro cultivation to the orders department, and including reproduction, transplantation and root planting.
On the 17th April we travelled to the Girona area to visit two innovative companies involved in livestock genetics. In the morning Xavier Carrer from Semega showed us around the the company's facilities and then explained the new technology called Genòmica. In the afternoon the Xifra brothers at Mas Gener were kind enough to explain to us the genetic origins of their herds and how their robotic milking machines work on their farm.
On Wednesday, 17th April, we held a Tree Climbing day at the ´Pelut` garden in Orís. Students from the higher-level second-year Natural Resources and Landscaping course had the chance to practise making knots (Prusik etc...) that they had learnt the day before at the school.
Three professional tree specialists and climbers put together five different areas where the students could practise different climbing techniques and use the necessary equipment.
All these techniques, as well as a knowledge of botany and physics, are essential for those gardeners who want to work professionally with pruning and felling.
Last Friday 12th of April we at the school talked about trees as part of the PATT training day. Mr Josep Selga explained the characteristics that trees must have and, more to the point, how to grow a good, healthy tree. We talked at length about the production process of trees in a nursery and how to care for them properly. Mr Selga also spoke about the transportation of a tree, which is a vital stage in its life if quality is to be ensured. Lastly, there was a turn of questions which saw a lively and improvised round-table discussion occur.
On Wednesday 10th April the students who study the medium level Forestry course at Quintanes made a visit to ´El Francàs Vell` in Sant Agustí de Lluçanès. The site manager, Albert Camprubí, explained to the students about the type of forest found in the area and the different activities that the business carries out; from agrotourism to cow farming. The students also had the chance to see in person the various forestry-related tasks taking place and learnt how both forestry and farming related activities can complement each other.
Between the 8th and 12th April Quintanes received a group of French students from the Maison Familiale Rurale ´Chateau Jolibert` school, found in the town of Bourgougnague, in the Aquitània region. The group stayed with us at the school and made various technical visits to different local businesses in the agriculture and farming sector; Embotits la Gleva, the Mas Carous farm in Gurb, the New Holland showroom in Vic, the wine and cava firm Olivella Galimany and the Pere Lluch oil producer in Guardiola de Font Rubí. They also made some tourism-related visits in Barcelona. While the French group was with us in Catalonia, a group of Quintanes students has spent time gaining work experience with French companies in the area around the MFR Chateau Jolibert school. All this has come about thanks to the collaboration between the two schools involved.
On Thursday 14th March we visited Semen Cardona. This is a company dedicated to the production and commercialisation of multi-genetic pig semen. The firm is based in the Cardona area and has the objective of carrying out exhaustive controls on the entire semen production process, with a view to guaranteeing maximum quality in the final product. The students from the higher level Pig Breeding management and organisation course had the opportunity to see the company's Cardona centre first-hand. Technical director, Xavier Barrera, guided us on the visit as we learnt about the latest developments in the elaboration and handling of pig semen.
On 21st March the second year medium level Forestry students made a visit to Ripollès. Agriculture Department technician, Santi Farriol, explained to us about wood auctions and managing public estates. We were also able to see the different silvi-cultural projects in progress in red pine forests, the building of forest pathways and the general management of public-use forest areas.
On Wednesday 20th March the students from the medium-level Pig Farm production course made a study visit to two firms dedicated to producing agricultural machinery. In the morning we went to Agric-Bemvig, in Masies de Voltregà, a company involved in making different types of farm machinery, like milling and crushing equipment.
In the afternoon we visited Juscafresa, a family-orientated business, dedicated to producing different sorts of trailer. This firm is based in Camallera, Girona and has recently found new markets in countries like Mexico and New Zealand.
We were very well looked after at both companies and would like to express our thanks to everyone involved for adding to our students' learning.