We currently have 48 solar panels on the roof of the Finca and 12 separate solar panels on the Pool House which operate the solar pump for the main pool.
We also have 18 heat absorption pads on the Pool Bar roof which are solely used for heating the swimming pool.
There are 5 Outback Invertors which were originally designed by the US military and these charge our 44 batteries which supply us with our electricity.
The water for the Finca is also heated by solar power and the tank and system are on the roof.
We also have a 5.5kW wind turbine which also sends power through our Invertors and can produce approximately 8,000 kWh per year in an average of 12 mph winds.
We have an 35KVA Imola back-up generator which we have to use occasionally.
Water is an issue for us as we are in the desert and have no personal spring water.
We have dug out 2 wells but the water is of quite a high saline content. Originally this was used on some of the more hardy trees such as the olives, but the filters proved expensive and osmosis isn’t an option that we choose to move forwards with at this stage.
However, we do use recycled water to irrigate the gardens, and have quite a complex system that collects all of our rainwater in a 55,000 litre tank underneath the Healing Garden.
We also have a quota of agriculture water which we get weekly and store in one of our underground tanks.
For the orchards and market gardens at the side and bottom of the land we have a remarkable waste water treatment plant that takes our grey and black water and cleans it using a combination of oxygen and bacteria before sending it out onto our fruit trees and other plants. Our orchards are thriving and this is an exciting and innovative system that will be used much more world wide in the future.
Our water for the guests is fresh mountain spring water coming from Alamilla and we have 40,000 litres delivered weekly. This is then cleaned and filtered for drinking. We have drinking taps by every sink and have just put in 5 drinking fountains around the retreat where guests can fill up their water bottles
We respectfully ask guests to bring their own water bottles so they can refill them on site. We also sell refillable water bottles in our shop. This is to cut down the use of plastic.
We are plastic free.(?)
We respectfully ask guests to recycle any glass, paper and plastic (should any slip through the net!)
We have recycling bins placed in the kitchen of the Finca which are emptied regularly.
Tree Planting and Re-wilding the desert
Since buying the land twenty years ago, Penelope has overseen the planting of thousands of trees, creating a natural oasis in the desert. There is a diverse selection of specimen trees from all over the world as well as plenty of indigenous and desert trees that need little water.
Five years ago, Penelope acquired some more land around the retreat and has since over seen the planting of at least a further 800 fruit trees creating a diverse orchard, all of which are now bearing fruit. Along with the fruit trees, there are other indigenous trees including olive, eucalyptus, pomegranate, fig, almond, palm and cypress trees, that have been planted on the land in a system of mixed planting that enables the different species to regenerate and support the soil and each other, and through this, various flowers and
shrubs have returned as well as diverse species of insects, birds and animals. Penelope has also planted a sacred geometry garden of Morenga trees amongst the rewilding that is doing very well and is still in process. None of this land is touched or cut apart from that immediately around the individual fruit trees which are then mulched. In the last five years the newly acquired land has been re-wilded successfully which is a big part of what we are about at La Finca Paradiso and is always a work in process.
We grow all of our own vegetables, salads and herbs for the table as well as use all of the fruits and olive oil that we produce. Our market gardens are varied in produce and take a lot of time to work. Katie our chef and Marco our head gardener, work closely together to ensure that the right foods are planted so that the guests can enjoy the best and most nutritious culinary delights we have to offer.
Our meals are mainly plant based and sugar free. We don’t used processed foods and our chef Katie, specialises in vegan dishes and even creates vegan cheese platters and cakes.
Occasionally she will cook locally caught fish if requested and will source sustainable fish freshly caught, from the fishing port in Garrucha.