Finca Alexandria is located in la Gomera, the second smallest island in the Canary Islands. The Finca has a total surface of about 2.5 ha. of terraced land, at 800 meters above sea level on a hill facing south and partially protected from wind. The land has not been cultivated since 1960 and, as a consequence, the terraces have come down. There is an asphalt road that leads to the plot except for the last 100m, since the Finca is only accessible on foot.
In order to finish the Finca following works still need to be completed:
- The construction of further terraces
- Completing the irrigation system
- Medicinal garden with biologists from several universities
- The construction of a kitchen house with a library
- The construction of a refrigerated room
- Raising further eco living spaces
- The construction of a workshop
- The construction of a drying room
- Alternative sources of energy
- Stables for goats and sheep
- Storehouse for hay and animal feed
- Acquisition of animals: 2-4 goats and sheep
- Complete cultivation – Trees, Bushes, Vegetables, Herbs, Animal feed
what we are currently building, what have already built, and what we will build
The construction of the infrastructure is the most important step to begin with. First, we built fences to protect the land from goats, also paths and the first natural stonewalls where built, some terraces were restored, and three water-collecting ponds and an irrigation system were created. Several terraces were planted, from which we have already harvested the first potatoes and cabbages. There are more than 60 little fruit trees and 20 walnut trees growing on the plot, as well as vines, herbs, and other perennial plants. We are now working on the construction of several greenhouses for young plants and tree cultivation. And our 10 laying hens have a beautiful home.
Who (Alex, friends, helpers and associations)
Alex Banhuber, whose vision has encouraged many people to participate, directs the whole project. The core team is formed by good friends: Sabrina Bosshard, Janine Laube, Patrick Schlecht, Peter Kaiser and Ilde Cruz Cruz, who seasonally work on the Finca; and it is supported by voluntary helpers (Wwoofers and HelpXers). The core team has different craft, social and strategic skills and know-how in the fields of natural stone, wood, and metalworking, as well as in gastronomy and botany. The helpers are involved in the team, acquire a great deal of knowledge and spread our network on the long-term.
What kind of place is the Finca meant to be
The aim of Finca Alexandria is to become a self-preserved and sustainable permaculture meeting place, where acquired knowledge and experiences are shared. The preservation, multiplication and promotion of ancient endemic crops and vegetables, as well as the cultivation of fruit trees, windbreak bushes, fruit bushes and animal feed plants are the centre of attention. Another aim is cultivating, preserving and making known traditional Canarian crops and medicinal plants. The project attempts at showing how an eroded land, which has not been worked for 50 years, can turn into a fertile fruit, vegetable, and herbs garden with a great variety of species by using the appropriate farming method.