Vicente Todolí has something very special going on in Palmera, Valencia. In his massive space called El Bartolí Botanical Citrus Orchard, he’s growing more than 400 types of citrus fruits, including ancestral, exotic and endangered varieties. The orchard spans 45,000 square meters and is home to a wide range of fruits, including key limes, satsumas, kaffirs, finger limes, pomelos, Bergamot oranges, marmalade oranges, and Chinotto oranges, among many others. The fruit is grown outside as opposed to in pots, taking advantage of Valencia’s climate.
Todolí, the former director of world-famous museum Tate Modern in London and with a lengthy and impressive career in the art world, and has turned his attention to citrus fruits. He’s using the orchard to study and research the many uses, both medicinal and culinary, of the fruit he’s growing. The goal is not to supply restaurants or consumers but, rather, to better understand the fruit and their unique characteristics.
His father and grandfather were horticulturists and specialized in hybridizing fruit though he was particularly inspired after a conversation with Ferran Adrià. Todolí has been expanding his orchard for many years, choosing only the must unusual and “forgotten” fruits and skipping over commercial ones available in markets. With his efforts he was even able to halt construction on local farmland, instead preserving it for fruit production.”