It’s Time to Grow Food!

“Write about your green life at your small Majorcan finca. Fuck (Dutch) politics!”

I’ve heard that from different corners lately. So let’s go.

Between posts about (green) politics and speaking up for the factory farmed animals, you will find from now on more stories about what’s happening on our small finca and our ambition to live self-sustainable on rural Mallorca.

Poor soil

What I wanted to write about for a longer time is our soil project. The improvement of our soil has taken a looonnng time. The good news is that the plants are in since Monday! Finally! It’s so great to see the plantitas in the soil. Before we arrived at this crucial moment, some labour intensive jobs came first. I will tell you in this post.

Blood, sweat and tears are already in this garden. Why? Because our soil was fucked. More stone and rocks than fertile earth and most of it had to be dug away — by hand and later Dorus bought a drill to do some of the hardest parts. 

Another job was shovelling the stones and sifting the earth. We began to do this seriously a year ago, but with interruptions, such as last summer which was super hot, and at times we just didn’t feel like it and endlessly drank coffee instead. Some days I especially couldn’t find the motivation. It seemed without an end in sight. But Dorus went for it, with difficulties at times, not alway the nicest job to do, but he persisted. I called it our soil project and it truly was.

What ingredients were needed to improve the soil?

Our garden destined to grow vegetables is in total 300 m2. To improve the soil we ordered around seventeen big bags of TerraLlum which were delivered by a truck that just could enter the small bumpy “road’ to our place. TerraLlum is a mix of *biochar, compost and minerals by the company Circle Carbon here on Mallorca. It was quite an investment, but we have a long term plan in our head that needs a deep approach, not a quick fix.

It is said that with biochar you can create an ideal habitat for microorganisms to thrive and process minerals and nutrients which they in turn make available to plants, which in turn make them available to us. It is made of tree cuttings from mainly local olive, almond, carob and pine residue.

Another golden ingredient is hot compost that contains our ‘donations’, kitchen scraps, carbon and weeds. We keep needing and making this compost as we have a compost toilet (dry toilet) that beautifully closes the nutrient cycle.

Did you know a normal flush toilet uses about 6-8 liters of water per flush? That’s an average of 30-40 liters of water per person per day. We save all this water! I hated this dry toilet-concept first, but once I realised the ridiculous waste of clean water and that our shit is actually a source of organic matter that soil needs, (when it has fully been decomposed and lost its smell) I was convinced.

After digging and sifting the earth to separate the stones, we could make layers to create and grow fertile soil.

The first layer consists of cacti leaves. We have dozens of big cacti plants with huge juicy leaves in our garden (higo chumbo). We cut its leaves to cover the bottom for moisture and nutrition.

The second layer contains TerraLlum, the mix of biochar, compost and minerals. At places we mixed it in with our own compost. But you need lots to cover the whole surface; production of only the two of us isn’t enough.

The third layer is the sifted soil (the soil already in the garden, but without the stones).

The last two layers on repeat.

Messy rocks
The wall and layers
Higo Chumbo for moisture and nutrition

After this process was completed, Dorus bought material to make an irrigation (dripping) system to water the plants. Lots of tubes that couldn’t fit the bike, so luckily a friend with a car came along. Still some items were missing so a bike ride to Palma was still needed to buy the rest of the materials that fitted his bicycle.

Also our two roosters and two chickens had to move to the back of the property. The fence wasn’t high enough, so Dorus made it higher with old materials that were already in place. I miss them having more close roaming around, but it’s impossible to keep them this way if we want to have a working vegetable garden. They love the greens too much.

Planting time

Finally the moment of planting! Last Monday we went to the cooperativa, an agricultural shop that almost each Majorcan village has, to buy PLANTS! Variety of tomatoes, zucchini, all sorts of peppers, lettuce, aubergine (all that you can grow for your summer garden). In the coming days we’ll sow basil, pumpkin, fennel, radish, corn, melon and dahlias (flower). It’s a bit late for the summer, but not too late. The part of the garden which has been planted at the moment is around 180 m2.

Plants are in!

For potatoes we need to wait a bit longer for the right moment to plant them as we missed the last best opportunity. Potatoes are very good to have as they’re nutritious and we simply love them.

Of course, onions and garlic will also find a place to grow in our garden.

Mother Nature’s help

We water the plants each second day. The sun shines already bright with temperatures around 25, 26 degrees Celsius. Another hot summer is on its way! In summer they definitely need water each day. With the help of Mother Nature we will make sure the plants will survive and grow. Fingers crossed!

Let’s grow sweeties 💚

Con Amor,


Right after we just bought this plot 3 years ago… a dry jungle.

  • Biochar is a charcoal-like material that is produced by burning biomass in a controlled and oxygen-limited process called pyrolysis. Unlike with common charcoal, the biochar process involves little contamination in form of fumes and therefore instead of releasing the CO2 gas into the atmosphere, the carbon inside the biomass gets trapped and converted into a stable form that doesn’t further decompose. This process is officially known as “Pyrogenic Carbon Capture and Storage” (PyCCS) and is considered by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) as one of the three main Negative Emissions Technologies (NETs) that can be deployed to remove and sequester CO2 from the atmosphere. Read more here.


  1. Great post, Eva! Your journey to improve the soil in your small Majorcan finca is truly inspiring. I had never heard of TerraLlum, but it sounds like an excellent investment for creating a self-sustaining environment.

    Liked by 1 person

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