Cortijo ‘Semilla Besada’

After 25 years of successfully running a prominent, trendy shop in Belgium, my husband and I decided to take a radical career twist. We sold our house and bought us a piece of paradise in the Alpujarras, region of the Sierra Nevada, Spain.

We were looking for a way to return to the essentials of life, in harmony with nature and the elements. To live a meaningful way and pass our experiences and knowledge to all future generations of this wonderful planet.

Semilla Besada seemed a good path to this vision: it provided the basic resources to build a small community (water, food, energy…) It is just a matter of ‘connecting the dots’ while developing a sustainable design. The previous owners already used some permaculture principles: nitrogen-fixators like Eleagnus, honey-locusts…

A diversity of shrubs, medicinal plants and dozens of fruittrees. An off-grid system for energy with windmill and solar pannels. End 2013  we implemented water-harvesting techniques with swales and gabions. The gabions where a revelation to slow down the water cutting through the garden. In 2014 we could observe a booming from the trees and shrubs. Even trees we thought  were dead, started making new shoots at the bottom. Hundreds of new trees just came up by themselves.

The Semilla Besada is a perfect place to develop 100% ecological and sustainable passive houses, currently we are looking for a way to  acquire the permissions to start. Being limited by the very restrictive law, forces us to be very creative to accomplish an effective sustainable model.

By developing an institute where workshops and practical courses will be given, by experienced and professional teachers, we hope to sensitize all parties about the benefits of permaculture and sustainable living. There will be lectures about erosion by plowing, lack of trees, water scarcity, fire hazards, polluted water, bee-death, loss of biodiversity… The institute itself will be an open demonstration site of how agriculture can be applied in a harmonic way with nature: A large biodiversity, which enriches the soil life greatly, restoring  intelligent local, native and Morish traditions, avoiding GMO’s, pesticides, artificial fertilizer and antibiotics, with even better results!

If we take care of mother earth, she will take care for us and provide abundance!!

Inge & Bastian
Inge & Bastian Profile

Permaculture Research Farm