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Greenheart News - Summer 2024



As we continue the second year of extreme drought in Ibiza, it’s sad to see that many of the beautiful plants we have nourished in our ever expanding gardens are beginning to look as if they may not survive until the autumn rains without some serious help.

So far, we only bought two trucks of water this year, but as we move into full summer heat, we are having to increase our consumption of water, just to keep the most important plants and trees alive. Again, I am very grateful for choosing mainly desert plants for our Mediterranean garden here in Casita Verde Ibiza, but realise that we’re going to need much more extra water this year, and as with everything else in this world, the price goes up with scarcity.

I feel extremely sorry for all those farmers who actually live off the land and are now having to reduce their flocks of sheep and goats due to the lack of sufficient local food for them. This means we’ll have to study the introduction of other forage crops which are more suitable for the changing climate.

One promising plant is the Tagasaste legume, which is originally from the Canary islands and is widely used in both South Africa and New Zealand as a replacement for grass and other feed stocks. This bush like plant is perfectly suited for arid conditions and is merely planted in the fields where animals will graze. As soon as the plants are big enough, the animals are allowed to feed on them and if managed properly in the correct rotation process, they will be successfully ‘pruned’ by the foraging livestock. This means we’ll have a more stable local food source for our animals, plus less work to do on the farms!


After many years complaining about the continued increase in tourist visitors every year and the increase in the number of cars circulating on our roads, the local government have decided to make some recognisable moves to ‘fix’ the situation and have even elected a special team of suitably educated individuals to tackle each part of the problem.

Also, since it is quite well understood that we only have 3 years of useful service from our island rubbish tip, the government is also seriously looking at alternatives to ‘fix’ this other even bigger problem. It seems like the same old story applies to each of these situations - too little, too late! Of course, we joined the other thousand residents who gathered in front of the island council building in late May, to complain about the escalating discontent!


For the moment, here in Ibiza, we are still a long way from the guns of war, or from the threat of imminent starvation, so I guess we don’t need to press the panic button just yet (or do we?)


Casita Verde Ibiza


Although our little green paradise in the hills is still looking quite pretty, especially compared to the dusty looking farmland surrounding the centre, we will need to take special care of our gardens this summer and perhaps even be prepared to lose a few varieties of plants that are no longer suitable for the warming climate. However, as one door closes, another one opens and the thought of eating local Papayas, Mangoes and other tropical fruits, especially if grown using recycled water, is quite encouraging.

Finally, and thanks to the timely help of several friends, we managed to rip out more than half of the dangerous cactus plants before the weather got too hot and before my poor body was totally destroyed by all the physical action. Also, as we’ve filled up all the available spaces with the cactus we removed, we’ll have to wait for another composting pit to be dug, before we can continue our ‘Cactus eradication’ project in the autumn.

We’re now officially enjoying our ‘summer break’ from guided visits until October, but managed to fit in some nice tours with students from the Algarb senior school in San Jordi, who actually arrived on bikes, together with their teachers. I must say, these kids were a big pleasure to host, as they all behaved very well and seemed very interested in what I had to show them. Hopefully, we’ll have some more groups from the same school throughout the next ‘cool’ season!

Apart from more school visits and other visits available from the beginning of October this year until the end of May next year, we’ll also be hosting a full weekend conference with a group of 20 people involved in making natural swimming pools. This will be the first time we have attempted such an event since we closed the centre for resident volunteers and Sunday lunches in 2019, so I’m hoping we’ll manage to look after them well, between myself, Georgina and our lovely friend Nuria from Andalusia, who has kindly offered to help us out for the weekend.

If this event goes well, we’ll certainly entertain the idea of doing some similar conference events in the future, as it would be a great way to make use of the beautiful installations we have here in Casita Verde, as well as continue our work as an eco-educational centre.


Casita Verde Granada


At the relatively new centre in Granada, progress is a bit slow, but the Cuban brothers are moving onwards little by little, as quickly as time and available resources permit.

We had the great pleasure to have the company of Puli for a three day visit during the later half of April, during which time he helped to remove a lot of the biggest cactus in the gardens. Also, we are expecting his older brother Rey to arrive any day now, as he will come over to spend some time in Ibiza doing his DJ job and earn some much needed finances to continue with his eco centre project.


This year, for our summer holidays, we decided to go and visit Ireland for a couple of weeks in August, especially since one of our favourite volunteers, Joanna Sweeney, is in the process of setting up her own Casita Verde on a 7 hectare farm which she inherited from her grandmother. Joanna's farm is in the North West part of Southern Ireland and consequently has plenty of rainfall, so can grow a lot of food, especially during the summer months, but also using polytunnels during the colder winter months..

We intend to spend around four days at the new centre and hope to help with setting up a local NGO, plus give some advice on some extra infrastructure which will be necessary for receiving more volunteers and further developing the farm into an educational centre.

We’re also in contact with a lovely Dutch woman, who has an ecological health retreat in Portugal and who may be joining our little Casita Verde movement in the near future.


Meanwhile, here in Ibiza, the ‘Juntos farm’ project is really taking shape and we hope to become more involved with its development during the coming months, when they will be opening their main centre at the old milk farm between Santa Gertrudis and San Lorenzo.

We recently attended a lovely dinner party and celebration there, together with Emanuel and Laura from the Foundation for the Future and our dear friend Ana Digón, who are now also part of this exciting game changing project!


If you would like to visit our centre for a guided tour, or want to know how you can be a more eco-conscious citizen, please get in touch by email, sending your request to info@casitaverde.com, or calling our main office on 608838190 (English and Spanish)

With warm greetings from Casita Verde,


Chris Dews – coordinator


"Climate the Movie: The Cold Truth", Debunks Global Warming & Net Zero Narratives



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