Creating a nature reserve in a semi desert
Our earthship home is located in the heart of the campo 2km from our nearest village and half an hour from Mini Hollywood in the only semi desert in the whole of Europe. The area used to grow esparto grass to service the rope industry, but when the industry swapped to nylon the esparto was left to go wild. Some fields and terraces have ancient olives and almonds, planted many years ago and sometimes still farmed. A lot is wonderfully wild with a surprising variety of flora and fauna, including a wide variety of bees.
This wild is now in danger from industrial farming. Hectares and hectares have already been ploughed up to intensively grow olives and Californian almonds, as well as being smothered by plastic greenhouses to grow tomatoes to ship to northern Europe. None of these are sustainable in this area, they all use illegal wells to suck the underground acquifers dry. Local villages have to tanker water in during the summer as their wells have dried up, but still more is planted.
This is why we're trying to buy as much wild land as we can to protect it and all it is home to. All profits from my art sales go towards purchasing extra land (and paying off the mortgage we already have to buy land). We don't get government grants to do this and really appreciate your support of this little nature reserve - 18.5 hectares and counting...