Passion and care for the environment: the Nuvoli company in Arborea.

Previous Next

"Until a few days ago the sun was beating hard, triggering the nebulizers. The cows begin to suffer at 19 degrees. I think we had 26. Can you imagine that in November? In half a century the climate has changed so much". Luigi Nuvoli proudly observes the 150 cows of his company. Many cool off under the fans, others ruminate the mixture of corn and herbs distributed along the bars that surround the large barn. Two share the benefits of the large brush, which surmounts a movable arm capable of adapting to posture and movements of the heifers. "They have learned pretty well by now. They give a push with their sides to activate it, and then they stand there cleaning up, finding relief from the insects. We call it animal welfare".

Luigi and Salvatore's father arrived in Arborea from Villanova Monteleone in 1962. "An affair between parish priests": the curate of the small town in the Alghero hinterland told the Nuvoli family about the opportunity represented by the farms for sale in Arborea. Not all Venetian, Emilian and Tuscan settlers had decided to continue their activities in the reclamation area after the season of sharecropping experienced during fascism. Five cows arrived together with the family, which later counted eight children. "It was not easy at the beginning, cultural differences existed. But we have learned from each other, and today we are all Sardinians, all Italians, all Europeans”, says Nuvoli. No tractor back then to plow the land, but hoe, oxen and plow. Few entertainment, a bicycle perhaps, and perennial physical fatigue: "Today is the mind that gets tired, not the body. You have to be a professional to stay afloat. The margins have narrowed a lot over the decades”.

It is the planning developed together with the agronomist and the nutritionist which has ensured over the years that the milk produced by Nuvoli is constantly among the first in Sardinia for quantity (per head) and quality. Eighteen hectares for the cultivation of what will become fodder: silage grasses between autumn and spring, and corn in summer time. Sowing is anticipated in May, so that the insects, which occur between July and August, find the plant already hard and mature, and are forced to desist without the use of chemical agents becoming necessary. Sustainability has become a tradition for the Nuvoli: they have been experimenters together with the University of Sassari of methods for reducing the exploitation of water resources, and were among the first to install solar panels. An example of care and productivity that over the years has led to visits by many willing to learn. “Even from Japan”, says Luigi while he illustrates the places of daily work accompanied by Zeus, a faithful German shepherd guarding the two hectares where the house and the company are located.

"You have to change constantly, to keep up with modernity. This is why I read a lot, and I never miss a meeting of the Producers Cooperative. There is always something to learn, an interesting element you can spot. In a few days, for example, we will take part in a conference that will deal with the problems of succession", announces Luigi, despite the family tradition is destined to finish after him and his brother. Both he and Salvatore fathered only daughters.

"For what purpose, for what purpose?", Luigi wonders, thinking about the arson that in October destroyed the splendid Arborea pinewood. "We were all ready to intervene with the tank trucks, we could have turned off an erupting volcano. But the situation was so difficult that we would have put our own lives at risk. Wetlands are a very important asset, they are part of our own identity. As a child I used to go there to play. Nowadays I cross them when I go jogging. It’s a unique scenario. We’ve all lost, all of us”.