We are running an organic farm here and are not using any chemical insecticides on the trees or ground. The usual practice for olive farming is to completely clear all the vegetation around the fruit trees. This makes harvesting the olives and almonds with the use of nets much easier. We keep the vegetation where it is and cut it twice a year. Because of this the root system stops topsoil erosion and the wild plants and grasses provide a mulch that reduces the amount of evaporation and keeps the roots of the trees cooler and retains moisture.The cut vegetation, being left where it is the nutrients that are in them return to the soil. As we cut the vegetation we leave patches of wild flowers across all the terraces
in the spring and long feathery grasses in the summer both for their aesthetic value and as a refuge for the wild fauna. The food chain is supported and the bird population increased. We have a huge array of wild birds here on the farm including the Common English Sparrow which is seriously in decrease in the UK and Hoopoes. The farm re-uses as much as is humanly possible, we have chickens to eat waste vegetable scraps and dogs eat the meaty bits. We even mash and recycle the egg shells. There are two huge compost sites on the farm and we re-cycle everything else at the local centre. We re-cycle envelopes for shopping lists and use all scrap paper for lighting the fires in the winter. We have solar panels and all the rooms have low energy light bulbs. All guests are encouraged to check everything is off before they leave the premises or go to sleep. We are off grid for water too and so we have to pump our own water. It has been tested and is of a high quality. The bore hole is 230m deep and we are about 180m above sea level. Sewage water goes through three processing chambers and the end product waters the plants. Grey water from the showers, washing machine and sinks waters the vegetable gardens. Our water is pumped into a storage tank and is sometimes held for about a week. So we have put a water purifier in the cottage for you to use so that there is no need to buy any water whatsoever. You just put tap water in the top and slowly it goes through a variety of filters and a ceramic core which take out all possible contaminants whilst maintaining the minerals from the earth. The three buildings on the farm have been brought up to date by the installation of electricity and water along with a few creature comforts but they retain the integrity of the original buildings and area. We are trying to do no harm to the land and all it's inhabitants.
We have and continue to use local personnel for all our building and maintenance projects. Relying on their understanding of local materials, methods and tools is logical and ethical. We also get support from the local farming community and use their know-how for developing and sustaining our farm We are keen to show how the old traditional methods with reduced chemical input can still produce a good crop. We are supporting the movement to protect the Ebre Delta. There is a discussion locally that would pipe some of the water from the Ebro to local cities and towns. The River is vital to the and the lives and livelihoods of all those who live near the river and Delta. We are active supporters of the ARCA animal charity and have rescued and homed dogs from the area. Our kitchens use pots and dishes created by local potters at Miravet, and tools made from olive wood.
Reviews of Catalonia budget self catering cottage, Spain
You can trust Responsible Travel reviews because, unlike many other schemes, reviews can ONLY be written by people who we have verified have been on the holidays.
I am reborn! Simply the best holiday I have ever been on
Some great stories to tell the grandchildren. Would recommend to a friend
It was OK
A bit disappointing really
Reviewed on 19 May 2014 by Richard Workman
1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?
Great location and superb friendly welcome.
2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?
You must have a car. Recommended to hire from the airport - just do NOT use Firefly Car Rentals. Totally incompetent car rental company. Gold Car Hire seems to be recommended.
3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?
Owners are very considerate to the environment and encourage others to be so, too without this being intrusive.
4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?
Excellent. A very relaxing experience. Excellent hosts - dogs and cat to make friends with - bring Bonios!! Easy access to both beaches and mountains depending on taste.