After a very peaceful and enjoyable August, we begin September this year with some great energy and many projects to complete. Our weekly events programme has been a big success, both from a point of view of effective Ecological Activity, plus our personal enjoyment of those events. Despite the usual summer heat and chaotic Ibiza summer madness all around the island, our little team of dedicated directors and wonderful volunteers at Casita Verde, have made the very best of our time and made some notable advances on all of our in-house and out-reach projects. For example, the new wildlife pond, now being constructed in front of the main circle at Casita Verde, is progressing well and will hopefully be in operation before the heavy rains arrive to fill it up, via our already installed water catchment area. Actually, we’re just waiting for Pepe, the owner’s son to come back with his digger and move some more earth into place, before we begin the process of lining the pond. First we will apply a mixture of hydraulic lime and sand (recovered from the bottom of the hole), then add a special lining provided by our friend Stefan Meier, who’s a specialist in constructing natural ponds on the island.

Work on the eco-wagon progresses slowly but surely (we’re in no hurry with that one either and want to make a beautiful example of eco-living space, from mainly recycled materials). We’ve recently purchased an exciting new and innovative solar cooker, purchased from Samahra, the shop from our friend and neighbour Tino Troska in San Jose. This device will enable us to cook for up to 50 people, using only sun power and should ensure that even if there’s no more gas available in Ibiza one day, we’ll still be eating cooked food, without burning any fossil fuels (we already have a fully equipped wood burning kitchen installed inside our Gala Tent event venue). We also go on with our never ending series of gastronomic inventions, ready to eventually publish a free on-line guide to delicious recipes made with the abundant local products from the the island of Ibiza.

Another in-house project planned for this year, is to build a complete food production system, using the aquaponic method. This consists of a fish tank, plus an area for the cultivation of vegetables, all enclosed inside a kind of green house and powered by solar energy. These devices are becoming very popular in cities, where they are traditionally installed on roof tops, where the more self sufficient citizens can then practice the art of ‘Urban Farming’ and produce both protein and vegetables for the whole family.

Speaking of local food production, Casita Verde will be present at the Autumn festival and celebration due to take place on Saturday the 17th of September at the weekly local products market in Forada (next to the famous bar / restaurant Can Tixedo). This will be a special day of various activities, between 11am and 9pm, including music therapy, story telling, workshops for young and old, plus the display and sale of a whole variety of local products from Ibiza.

Unfortunately, due to a lack of students, we’ve had to cancel the residential Permaculture course, planned to take place in Casita Verde between the 18th of September and the 2nd of October. However, since we have so many requests for participation in our Casita Verde Experience for volunteers during this time, I guess we’ll be equally as busy entertaining visitors to the centre and will most likely get a lot of jobs finished as a result.

Our Ibiza Limpia programme is still going strong, with at least one clean-up project happening every week (usually on Wednesday evenings). At the present moment, we’re still heavily engaged in cleaning the coastline of San Antonio and have arrived at the most problematic area, between Cafe del Mar and Cala des Moro, where we encountered what can only be described as a ‘carpet of garbage’, mainly consisting of broken glass bottles, beer bottle tops, an abundance of cylinders and balloons (the the latest fashion in getting high), plus the usual millions of cigarette butts. Pablo Váldes, the councillor for the Environment from San Antonio town hall has been helping us with the clean-up and has agreed to meet for talks on how we can improve the condition of this very popular piece of our coastline into the future. Our target for this year, apart from keeping all roads to Casita Verde in good condition, is to clean up the whole coastline of both San Antonio and San Jose, which is more or less the part of the island closest to our main centre.

Hopefully, this month will see some important advances in the development of the Ibiza Fènix project, as I begin to have more meetings with possible members of the new executive committee for the organisation and begin visiting farms and country houses, together with the Peruvian student from the Earth university in Costa Rica, who is due to arrive in Casita Verde on the 12th of September. You can now visit the new website for this movement, which although still under construction, gives more or less the whole idea and is at least functional to make contact with members working on the project. See www.ibiza-fenix.com for further details.

Studying the local island newspapers each day,  I get the impression that there will be some serious meetings within the local island council, as soon as the dust settles at the end of a very exhausting summer season, with around 4 million tourist visitors and some major problems arising as a result of such an overwhelming invasion. Hopefully, between us all, we’ll find the necessary solutions which will enable us to continue as a very popular tourist destination, without destroying our still beautiful island in the process!

Don’t forget, that if you have any questions about alternative lifestyle techniques, or want to know how you can be a more eco-conscious citizen, please come and see us on Sundays, or Thursdays at Casita Verde, Saturdays at the Local products market in Forada (Buscastell), or participate in our weekly cleaning events (check us out on: www.facebook.com/CasitaVerdeIbiza for more info). You can also get in touch by email, sending your request to info@casitaverde.com, or calling our main office on 971 187353.

With warm greetings from Casita Verde,
Chris Dews – coordinator for Greenheart in Ibiza