We are very lucky this year at Sunseed! We have an agreement with the Olive oil company called “Oro del Desierto”. We help them to collect olives and in exchange we receive a part of their olive oil production. Oro del Desierto practices ecological agriculture without using any chemicals. They use techniques that preserve the soil structure and fertility. They have actually won many awards that prove that they make one of the best ecological olive oils in the world !
For some years now at Sunseed we have been making similar agreements with local proprietors of almond and olive plantations. It is an important tradition that we want to keep at Sunseed for promoting ecological agricultural practices.
Between 5 and 8 people from the Sunseed team go to collect almonds or olives. Then we split the total quantity with the owners. We have very nice almonds and we also make our own almond milk, which avoids us buying milk and saves a lot of packaging (tetra packs which are difficult to recycle). We even use the shells as biomass to cook on our gasifier! With the olives, we make oil and also marinade some for eating.
Almonds and olives are very important resources in the south of Spain. Olive oil from Spain is famous all over the world. These two trees are very well adapted to the arid climate and do not need a lot of watering. Nevertheless, given the avarice of modern markets, which only focus on high yields and ignore all other factors, the amount of intensive, or even so called “super-intensive” plantations have increased exponentially. This type of cultivation requires the use of a lot of chemicals, leaves the soil bare, which creates erosion and also uses a lot of water over exploiting the aquifers and rivers, causing them to dry up. In our village we are directly affected and more broadly speaking all over Spain desertification is increasing principally due to these kind of practices (for more information see: ecocide los molinos del rio aguas).