One of the beautiful things about living in Mallorca is that there is a celebration for every occasion!  Fiestas and ferias abound, originally for giving thanks and praise for all that surrounds us and especially at harvest time.  Find a fruit or a vegetable and hey, you’ve got a party!  Grapes are celebrated in the Binissalem wine festival every September, potatoes get a look in at Sa Pobla night fair every June and even the wild mushrooms, esclata-sang, are eaten in Mancor de la Vall every Autumn.  Add to the party mix an inanimate object then why not celebrate stone as we do every May in Binissalem!


Probably the biggest and most important fair in Mallorca is to be found in the town of Inca.  This agricultural fair, known locally as Dijous Bo, Good Thursday, is a gathering dating back centuries in which farmers and peasants would meet with commerce in mind along with an exchange of news and gossip.

Dijous Bo   Inca

However, amongst all the fun and frolics that Mallorca manages to pull off so well, I wondered about the bigger agricultural picture and just how sustainable it is.  So off I went in search of those working the land to find out what they have to say.


I decided to visit Finca Son Barrina, run by Connie Mildner and family.  Son Barrina is an organic farm just outside the village of Llubi, up near Inca.  Connie not only works the land, she also sells the produce and other items in the farm shop there.  The farm sits on 60000m2 of land and amongst the almond, oranges, lemons, grapefruit trees, she also has chickens, home grown vegetables and a strawberry garden.


I asked Connie why organic and why a farm and she explained that when their 21 year old son was a toddler, they tried shopping for organic food for him but the choices then were limited.  As one does, they thought they would buy a farm, grow their own food and become self sufficient!  Son Barrina was the perfect choice, an important local farm with a history going back some 350 years.  Originally cultivating citrus trees, it took Connie 3 years to become organic, at a time when there were very few organic farms in Mallorca.  Over the past 20 years Connie has tried many things, learnt from many mistakes and even tried to keep cows and follow bio dynamic principals along with raising two children who until recently seemed to show little interest in organic farming!  She discovered permaculture 5 years ago and now Son Barrina has the well known Julio Cantos offering classes in permaculture there along with the team from Permamed. Connie plans are to continue organic farming, sell from her lovely shop and offer more education in the form of courses and retreats, from permaculture to yoga and more.


The Permamed team are already an important fixture at Son Barrina and they had organized a permaculture course to be taught by world renowned permaculture expert Rosemary Morrow.  I managed to prise Rosemary away from her students to ask for her thoughts on Mallorca.  When I told her for whom the article was, she immediately compared life onboard a yacht to living a permaculture way of life.  She explained that when living and working on board one has to face issues such as limited resources, water especially, and limited physical space in which to carry things – supplies, possessions etc.  This is scarily close to home, not just in Mallorca, but across the world with centuries of industrialized farming eating up resources not to mention our 21st century, out-of-control, consumerism. She pointed out that life at sea follows nature, in fact close contact with nature is the permaculture modus operandi.


Her first thoughts about Mallorca has to do with islands in general and all to do with water, because if an island runs out of water, where is it going to get it from?  Most of the rainfall here in Mallorca tends to come in one go, a few times a year and either goes straight into the sea or is lost, due to being dependent on wells and not very clever at saving our rain water, Rosemary says we need to start banking against the future and not just with water.  She pointed out that if an island suffers a loss of diversity – species, animals, flora – then it is more severe than if it were to happen on a mainland.  With that in mind she says that people should act now to save everything that they do have – water, seeds etc “because once they’ve lost them, they’re gone”!


Not all was doom and gloom from Rosemary though and she told me:  “my first evening meal was made up of local produce!  I can’t think of any place I’ve visited before where everything on the table was local – and delicious too!”  Rosemary has the sense that Mallorca is at the top of a wave right now, with a movement of people committed to making a more sustainable future and on that note readers were invited to look out for courses on permaculture design organized by Permamed!


So whilst Mallorca knows how to party like there’s no tomorrow, we can celebrate knowing that there is a sustainable and ecological movement afoot.  Finca Son Barrina and Permamed are joined by other organizations, all working towards a Mallorca that is able to feed herself for now and for the foreseeable future.

Glynis German – Radio Presenter & Celebrant

The Happiness Café Radio Show @ Monday at 10am – Mallorca Sunshine Radio 106.1FM

Finca Son Barrina  



Also read

Get your hard-copy now!

Your advert in The Islander Magazine?

Get your hard-copy now!

Your advert in The Islander Magazine?

and receive your invitation to our events