Many of you will know El Perelló and El Perellonet, small towns where the Albufera lake empties into the sea (where the “golas” are situated), as well as Puchol, closer to El Saler. Well, the first two give their name to the winter flood of the fields (or “Perellonà”) that happens every year in the Albufera Natural Park.
On the first of November, the floodgates of the “golas” (also called “perellons “) are closed. Since the Júcar and Túria rivers continue to provide water, the entire marsh and the “tancats” surrounding the lake are dammed -such as those of Arroz Tartana’s-; The flood is so large that the length of the Albufera lake (about 2,800 hectares today) can triple in winter …
Flocks Amount of flamingos, ducks, cormorants … can be seen during that season of year, probably the nicest of the year to visit the Albufera. The birds don’t only stay in the lake, they also disperse through the flooded rice fields … or migrate from Europe to Africa, seeking a better climate.
It’s also a moment of rest in the “tancat” rice fields, such as those of Arroz Tartana’s. This time works to regenerate the soil from of weeds, so that the soil recovers nutrients, and improves the quality of the water in the natural area, thanks to microscopic crustaceans that act as purifiers, recovering the water its crystalline appearance. …In summary, so the next crop will turn out pure, natural and unique.
On the first of January, the floodgates of the golas are reopened, and the Albufera begins to drain, appearing in the “tancats”, the straw and the remains of the previous season’s crop, which are mixed with the mud and water , through “fangueo” work carried out with tractors. This process revives the land, fertilizes it naturally, and cleans it of impurities for the new rice season. With this task, food for birds also appears, a pure symbiosis between rice cultivation and the wonderful natural park.
Article written by Juan Carlos GALBIS -Master of rice masters-, José ZAFRA, -passionate about rice- y Juan Valero -Gerente de ARROZ TARTANA-.