Every year since 1972, the world has celebrated World Environment Day on June 5th, which is today. The aim of this commemoration is to raise global awareness, to take positive environmental action and to protect Nature and planet Earth. This year’s motto is Sustainable Consumption and Production.
We are all part of the environment, we live in it and we live from it. Sadly, we often forget that we also depend on it. We all depend on the land, the water, the air, the nature and the holistic interaction of it all.
At Son Alegre, we have some 50 hectares of land. On it, we have planted over 1,000 olive trees, a few dozen carob trees and about 20,000 vines. We have also sown Santanyí Xeixa wheat as well as some barley and legumes as our own natural animal feed. We have 60 sheep and a dozen Mallorcan goats on our land. Everything is organic. We want to continue to plant more olive trees and more vines. At the moment, we produce wine, olive oil and flour. As farmers, we try to follow organic standards, some of them based on the principles of biodynamic agriculture. We aim to adhere to the principles of Natural Farming. Our principle is to leave Nature undisturbed in the best possible way.
We see Mallorca as a big garden, a massive orchard. If this garden were no longer to exist there would not be nothing at all. The tourist industry should see that we are all sitting in the same boat. It would be nice and important if some of the resources generated by tourism would be reinvested in our Mallorca garden. Perhaps the next government will indeed reintroduce a Green Tax for the benefit of environmental causes. By the time our agricultural products reach the end consumer there is all too often no margin left for the producers. The farmers of Mallorca have almost disappeared because parents want their children to go off to do different things and earn more money than they could earn in agriculture. Now our land in Mallorca is devoid of people; this proves to be wrong and this we have to change.
Some 12 million tourists come to Mallorca every year and still, we cannot sell our almonds to them. With the almonds we could do so much and with the carob too. We have no sense of valuing what we have and where we live. If only we could sit in a plane and see our island from above, we would surely marvel and value this land. It is time for tourism to join forces with the rural world and its products. That is the solution to revive farming and the land.
In the absence of any general profitability of farming land, some form of public funding would encourage young people to stay on and work the land. This could fulfill an important function. The future of the our land is in the hands of young people, and some financial incentive would allow young farmers to get ahead of the game.
For hundreds of years, this island of Mallorca has been in harmony with Nature, its inhabitants and its wildlife. Now, things have become unbalanced. The time has come to protect Nature and the environment as best we can. It is our duty to look after our land and our soil, by acting in a responsible and sustainable way. It is time for us to give back to Nature what she has given to us and our ancestors. If and when we look after our land and maintain the garden of Mallorca, our children and future generations will benefit from the fruits of the land. If we don’t, our children will know who to blame.