Monestir de Santa Maria de Vallbona


Since 2008 till we have recovered almost 4000 m2 of land for cultivation of vegetables, fruits and cereals, and about 200 m2 for cut flowers, with which we make bouquets for the church.

With the help of a tractor and the collaboration of a group of volunteers, we have recovered the old terraced gardens of the monastery, which provide nearly all the vegetables we eat. We've got old natural recipes and traditional knowledge about seasons for planting and harvesting, and we were able to dispense with the catering service we had. All this results in a healthier diet and, above all, more respect for the environment and that most directly linked to the cycles of nature.

We use about 1,400 m2 in cultivation of vegetables, 300 mfor potatoes, 1000 m2  for wheat and 500 m2 for corn. We have also planted almond and olive trees, and fruit trees (including apple, different types of pear, cherry, peach and plum). Some trees had been planted for ornamental purposes which were not typical for the surrounding landscape. These have been changed to olive and almond trees, exposing the ancient dry stone walls, some of which we now have to re-build.

Next to the garden there is a plantation of young pines, around 1300 m2,which we have been pruning

Our water is supplied via an old mine which also caters for the village, but even so we have measures to spend as little as possible, with a drip irrigation system. We do not use pesticides or artificial fertilizers, because we practice organic farming.

This is how we have embodied one of the objectives of our ecological conversion, restoring the exterior spaces of the monastery, having contact with the natural cycles and making more alive than ever the recommendation of St. Benedict: 7 If site conditions poverty and demanded that they be made the crops, not sad, 8 it is then they are truly monks when they live by the work of their hands, as our fathers and the apostles (RB 48).

Monestir de Santa Maria de Vallbona © 2013

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