While the social, political and cultural aspect of the island is going through a transitional period, what of Ibiza itself, the land and environment that supports and nurtures the 170,000 year round residents and the millions of visitors that pass through her shores each season. While we will explore the energy of the island in a dedicated blog at a future date, for this exercise, let us focus on the mysterious mistress that is the island of Ibiza. The good news is that her ancient spirit and beauty remains resolute and strong, amid all the change. Her scenery was amazing this year, as the giver of life, water and rain, was in plentiful supply. The flora and fauna bloomed like a pregnant woman, bulging with abundance, sent and vitality. Bright, vibrant colours were present in the areas where nature is protected and respected by those who champion its cause. The island also escaped the nightmarish fear of forest fires, always a relief at the end of each tourist season.
This summer, the land yielded a rich harvest of fruit, vegetables and produce, one of the best in years. In the heart of the island, in places like Morna Valley and Santa Gertrudis, where the soil is rich and fertile, producers have seen their yields flourish. A new wave of dynamic food producers, inspired by the islands sunshine, music and organic produce, are emerging with sustainability and growth. “Creativity, not conformity” is being championed by indigenous companies like Ibiza Chilli Company, Sal de Ibiza , Tea Of Life, and Ibosim Micro Brewery just to mention a few. They are harvesting a superior organic product from the islands iron rich soil and selling it to a growing market associating itself with a healthy lifestyle, individuality and quality. The taste of Ibiza, is now a trend and a welcome sight to see for those who love the island for her simplicity and nature. I can thankfully report that the organic farming trend pioneered by the Ibiza hippies back in the sixties, is in good health, as more and more people embrace it.
While there are serious environmental issues to be tackled, many of them associated to mass tourism, the most urgent being the old sewage systme that is leaking into the sea and affecting the quality of the marine life and beaches, the local Government has committed itself to addressing these environmental problems, with funding from the Tourist Eco Tax. Diesel cars and plastic products are set to be banned by 2025 as the island looks to recycle better. Green friendly organisations like Ibiza Preservation Fund, Casita Verde and ProArtSo are effectively campaigning for a greener Ibiza and they deserve credit for their Trojan work, much of it behind the scenes and away from the local media spotlight, which can be a slave to the music industry’s large marketing budget. It helps they are pushing an open door in the corridors of power and it is refreshing to see a new generation of Ibicenco recognising the need to protect the natural assets and beauty of the island. Of course, there are the greedy pirates who will exploit these assets for their personal gain, this is Ibiza and pirates are part of its culture, but in the main I feel the good guys are in the majority.
I have always maintained that the shy and delicate side of the island, requires the brash and loud clubscene to shield it from the trampling hoards of mass tourism. The two unlikely bedfellows have a symbiotic relationship that is unique to Ibiza and the welcome emergence of a new group called Musica will hopefully aim to strengthen that bond. Knowing the people behind it, gives me hope for its direction and future. While sometimes it’s hard to hear above the complaining din of the aggrieved, wailing over their struggling business ventures, the message that I would like to communicate in this blog, is a positive and healthy one. I sense the island is prospering and happy outside of the urban areas, where nature is strong and this is a good thing. The party is not over in Ibiza, its just that a new one is about to begin.