It could be that the island of Ibiza, which has opened as usual this year, is enduring another one of its crazy summer seasons, but up in the hills at Casita Verde, life is tranquil and beautifully organised (Just as I like it!).
It also seems that the world in general is spinning out of control, as we are constantly threatened with new pandemics, wars and famine. We are collectively being forced into accepting a New World Order, creating a centralised control system in which many of us don’t want to live.
These extremely disturbing signs suggest that a large portion of humanity is definitely headed in the wrong direction, so now it’s even more important for those of us who are still connected to the universal energy source, to keep our cool heads working on solutions, instead of being blown away with so many problems to think about at the same time. It will certainly be an interesting next few years, and for the lucky ones who manage to survive this metamorphosis, there are still many bright lights to guide us into a much more regenerative and enjoyable future.
We live in hope!
Casita Verde Ibiza
Here in our little green paradise, we’ve been working hard in the gardens for most of the spring time, after such an extraordinary amount of rain during March and April. All of our beautiful plants (and weeds) grew bigger than ever before, giving the place a kind of lush tropical forest look, which was a wonderful sight indeed, but of course, we then had to deal with all the extra material, removing dead plants and flowers from the completely overgrown gardens.
The great thing about this bounty of carbon, drawn down out of the atmosphere by photosynthesis, is that we filled up our garden composter to a height of 2 metres, and this will provide around 5 tons of rich earth to add to the topsoil here as soon as it’s ready to take out and use.
Naturally, the eco-pond filled to the very top and is still almost full, even with the temperatures reaching 30 degrees most days of the week. We would have had enough rainwater collected to last the whole summer, but unfortunately, there was an invisible leak in the system that wasn’t discovered until we’d actually lost quite a lot of water from our main 80 ton tank. In this case, as well as having to buy more water, we’ll be using some of the extra eco-pond water to keep the vegetable gardens alive throughout the summer. Hopefully, we’ll have one of those rare summer storms and can fill up the tanks again, without spending too much money.
I must say that despite all the rainy days during the springtime, we managed to run all the electrical systems on solar power alone, without using the petrol powered generator at all.
Lately, we just added another 1100W of solar power to our main electrical supply, situating two 540W panels on top of the newly renewed roof of the info centre, making a total of around 12.5KW of panels installed in 9 different systems. Along with the extra panels, we bought more electric ovens and various other cooking devices to further reduce our dependence on natural gas, so expect to be using around 4 gas bottles in the whole year from now on (In 2018, we used about 150 gas bottles, but there was an average of 12 people living here and we were open for lunch every Sunday!). We also bought more freezers, so we can store all the food we grow during the more humid winter season and eat it throughout the dry summer season, saving shopping trips as well as making us more resilient.
As planned, we’ve now stopped our tour offer during the hot summer months, but will resume the activity from the beginning of October, when the temperature should be low enough to trek around the centre for three or four hours without overheating the visitors (or the guide).
Since reopening the Casita Verde for visits last October, we received around 40 people in total and our new offer seems to have been completely acceptable for all those who came along. Many visitors even donated twice the minimum amount of 25€, being so happy to receive the wealth of information about ways to improve their personal impact on the planet.
The educational tour is always complimented with a drink of our famous Aloe Vera juice and a delicious Carob Muffin, made mainly from local products, including dried figs and frozen apricots from the trees at Casita Verde. Many of them also tried our new formula for the Carob Cola, which I decided to offer as part of our in-house market research study. So far, nearly everyone who tries it loves it, so I consider that to be a good result if we want someone to produce it commercially here in Ibiza!
Greenheart Guide to Ibiza
In early May this year, Ibiza Ecologic was awarded a 15,000€ donation towards the costs of producing the new digital Greenheart Guide for Ibiza, which should be ready for use at the beginning of 2023. Thanks to the fact that we already made a GH Guide in 2004, sponsored by the Foundation for the Future, we were able to demonstrate our guide making capability to the Sustainability team from the Six Senses hotel and obtain vital economic support needed for this important project.
Luckily, we were also introduced to a very capable web team from Mallorca, who will be responsible for mounting up the guide in a professional manner. However, we will still need to do all the investigation, make visits around the island and take photos, as well as process the information to include as many as 300 environmentally friendly entities presented in the new on-line sustainability tool. Once the guide is activated, we will be the ones who will keep it updated, so that the information remains useful for years to come. In order to sponsor the use of a sustainable web-hosting company, we’ve also asked for extra funding from the ‘Lush Soap’ company, which has sponsored some of our projects in the past.
Ibiza Ecolandia presentation
After a surprise meeting with Vincente Roig, councillor for the environment in the island government during May, we were invited to send all the relative information we had produced about our proposal to make the new centre inside the natural park of Ses Salinas. Obviously, there will be many obstacles to jump over on our way to make this dream a reality, but I’m sure that the moment has arrived to insist that at least we have a chance to discuss the possibility with the local government and move whatever has to be moved in order for this very important and timely project to be included in the future tourism and educational offer for Ibiza.
Visiting Casita Verde Granada
During the last two weeks of August, myself and Georgina Milani will go over to visit the Casita Verde in Granada and see how things are developing with Rey Aldana and his team. This time we will take our lovely caravan to Portugal in order to connect up with a couple of friends who have eco projects set up inside the natural park region close to the South West coast of the country.
On the way from Granada to Portugal, we hope to pass by Cadiz and say hello to some of our friends there as well as to check on their sustainable developments and spend some time exploring the area. As usual, we’ll borrow the Toyota Rav4 that I gave to the Granada Ecológica association a couple of years ago and which is kept in good working condition by the new Casita Verde centre over there.
Obviously, my autumn blog will again include some photos of our summer travels and some descriptions of what we found along the way, so please look out for that one around the 21st of September.
International Day for the Environment
This year, there were a number of events in different locations and at different times, to celebrate this international movement. On Saturday the 4th of June, there was an exhibition event called ‘ECOUC’, organised by the town hall of Santa Eulalia and featuring around 60 different environmentally friendly entities, plus many workshops. Later on the same day in the village of Jesús, there was a smaller celebration presented by the local Jesús in Transition team, and then on Sunday morning the 5th of June, there was a beach clean-up on the popular beach of Es Cavallet organised by the town hall of San Jose.
This year, Casita Verde did not participate directly in any of the activities, other than to visit them, since we are no longer open to the public as we were in previous years and also because we are now a very small team, which is more or less completely focused on keeping our main centre in good condition, plus producing the new GH guide and promoting the Ibiza Ecolandia project.
Please check this blogspace for any updates on workshop offers and recent photos. Also, if anyone is interested to visit the centre, you can find full details of visitor offers in both the ‘Casita Verde Ibiza’ section, as well as the ‘Education’ section on this website:
Of course, if you have any questions about alternative lifestyle techniques, or want to know how you can be a more eco-conscious citizen, please get in touch by email, sending your request to firstname.lastname@example.org, or calling our main office on 608838190 (English and Spanish)
With warm greetings from Casita Verde,
Chris Dews – coordinator