A selected product by chefs Helena Rizzo and Daniel Redondo
A Symbiosis in farming
Raised in a family of rural producers, Patrick Assumpção moved to Pindamonhangaba in 1997 to take over the farming in the Coruputuba farm. His work of reforestation of old rice paddies with native trees called the attention of the Agribusiness Technology Agency in São Paulo, interested in the plantation of species beyond eucalyptus. During the discussions, the agroforestry system was presented, which consists of cultivating food among the trees destined to produce wood. Each culture contributes with a better soil nutrition, allowing in this process, the development of a culture which cooperates with the growth of the other crop.
The system was implemented and guandu beans were among the species chosen for its quality as green fertilizer. In spite of the frequent use as fertilizer and hay, the guandu bean has already been grown for food throughout the country, but lost ground as a daily option to "carioquinha", a species that is more productive and adaptable. The curiosity of Patrick gave another end to the crop, which ended up in the hands of chefs Helena Rizzo and Daniel Redondo. "The guandu beans are great for salads and vinaigrettes, and even other traditional dishes, because it brings flavor and firm texture", explains Helena, who created a "baião de dois" recipe with the ingredient.
Beyond the new possibility for the day to day use, the guandu beans is an opportunity of rescuing the environment of Vale do Paraíba, a region which houses some of the most depleted soils in the country. The Symbiosis of cultures of the agroforestry system is very beneficial to the recovery of degraded areas and financial support – corresponding to 25% of the results obtained by the sale of the product, donated by Alex Atala – will allow the organization of a network of agroforestry culture, with the objective of encouraging small producers of the region to adopt this method. "It is initiatives like this, from Retratos do Gosto, that can rescue products that are typically Brazilian back to the tables of the majority of Brazilians", states Patrick Assumpção.