In 2020 we are pleased to announce that the main field is now officially part of the Solar Branco Eco Estate. While we had started the process of purchasing the field in 2019, the paperwork took longer than we hoped it would. This did not stop us from starting our work to recover and restore the field into a farm area and wildlife sanctuary.
Our farm area enables us to harvest seasonal fruits and vegetables for our experiences and breakfast meals. What we cannot grow on the estate we always aim to source from the island of Sao Miguel or the other islands. Our estate currently grows oranges, lemons, limes, peppers, carrots, tomatoes, basil and parsley as well as other vegetables.
We make few We cut the grass in the field on a 6-month rotation. This means that there is always longer grass for the wildlife to use as well as flowers for the pollinators on the estate. The field is approximately 7,000sm meaning that we have more than enough space for hedgehogs to roam freely and safely. Anyone finding one in distress or by the side of the road is welcome to bring it to the estate where we can rehome our little spikey friends.
We have given careful consideration to native and bee-friendly flowers that we grow on the estate. We mix native varieties with perfect pollinating plants to maximise the bee population. We also have plans to build beehives in 2022. We are currently in the process of restoring the borders and walls of the field. In this 4-year project, we will place over 10,000 plants and trees to encourage bees and other pollinators to thrive on the estate.
It goes without saying that the property has a complete ban on pesticide usage or any GMO crops. Every plant, tree or vegetable is grown organically on the estate and grounds. Composting facilities are currently being built to help further enhance the estate’s eco-grounds and further updates can be found here. While are both enjoy a mainly plant-based dietary life, eggs are a must to keep on the menu, especially for breakfast. So on the estate, we have free-range chickens. This means that we get wonderful eggs each day, and our ladies eat all the leftover foods, meaning that we are as close as we can be to a zero-waste property.