Fertile soil is the main condition not only for human’s well-being, but also for its own existence. This is the reason why it is essential to carry out respectful agricultural practices such as direct sowing, soil conservation, organic and ecological agriculture, etc. Instead, soil degradation leads to long-term food shortages, reducing nutritional value, biodiversity, and areas suitable for planting.
Since the industrial revolution, the destruction of ecosystems has produced a loss of species that have been disappearing exponentially, added to the destruction of forests, the pollution of lakes and rivers, and desertification, which have worsened global warming.
It is important to internalize the idea that humans depend on a large number of biological species. Our dependence on the species and products extracted or derived from plants is as immense as it is unquestionable.
Lately, along with water, air and soil resources, a fourth natural resource has gained importance and constitutes one of the bases of the environmental health of our planet and a source of economic and ecological security for future generations. We are talking about genetic resources.
They are part of the biological diversity, known as biodiversity, which constitutes the sustenance that makes up life on our planet. Biodiversity is based not only on the concept of difference but also on that of complexity. For this reason, if we ignore the interaction between groups, we will hardly have a real idea of the system’s biodiversity. In short, genetic resources play a fundamental role since, among many of their characteristics, their genetic variability is the basis for the development of new varieties to ensure stable and sufficient amount of food. Likewise, it is also a source of new crop options with greater resistance to climates and adverse factors. Another advantage is that it helps to keep the ecosystem balance and is an important element for sustainable agriculture. We have to mention also the “food legacy” and well-being of future generations.
Today we face enormous pressures that seek to impose uniformity instead of diversity, producing a process of loss of this biodiversity. The main responsible has been the widespread implementation of modern or industrialized commercial agriculture based on the idea of »subjugation of nature» with the aim of increasing production through four pillars: mechanization, fertilizers, pesticides and improved seeds.
This genetic uniformity constitutes a danger against environmental changes or the appearance of new pests or diseases due to its restricted genetic base. This leads to genetic vulnerability. That is why local varieties are of vital importance in our crops.
One of the most important characteristics of local varieties is their considerable phenotype variation (physical and behavioural traits), compared to commercial varieties, which contributes to biological diversity. The fact that these seeds are heterogeneous gives them greater stability against climatic and human disturbances. They also have a great capacity to recover from disturbances, guaranteeing greater resistance to pests and less demanding maintenance. Out of more than 250,000 edible species, the markets today barely grow between 100 and 200, which implies a decrease in consumption varieties.
Another aspect to mention is that local varieties also represent a cultural heritage of great importance that should not disappear, just like the traditional cultures and knowledge to which they are linked.
Farming in Ibiza and Formentera has traditionally been a source of wealth for the islands, in addition to being the natural pantry of its population. The rise of traditional flavours with local and seasonal products, offered in local restaurants, leads us to a cultivation respectful of the characteristics of our soil and climate. It also helped to recover varieties that our ancestors chose for hundreds of years. Closely linked to these traditions and the specific flavours are the basis of gastronomic heritage of Ibiza and Formentera. Fruits and vegetables are grown according to their natural cycle, thus offering an optimal flavour, aroma and nutritional condition.
Within sustainable models, local varieties, in turn, return autonomy to farmers who regain control of a part of their crops, and are involved in the maintenance of agricultural knowledge that has shown its sustainability.
To sum up, we can say that betting on local varieties implies betting on the future of our fields, recognizing the work of our ancestors, differentiating our gastronomy, conserving our heritage and reducing dependence on phyto-sanitary products, fertilizers that degrade our land.
Can Zol wants to stake on these quality products and this is why has begun to recover the production of traditional vegetables such as citron paprika (it has been recovered as a variety, it is used to make the traditional “sobrasada”), white pepper, aubergine, «Melò eriçò» (melon), cabbages, beans, potatoes, among others, from our beloved land.
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ECOLOGICAL FARM CAN ZOL
Carretera Ibiza Portinatx, Km 9,8
(07849) Santa Eulalia del Río
678 98 90 03
Fb: Can Zol / IG @canzolibiza