If you’re driving along the road to San Miguel in the north west of Ibiza, keep your eyes peeled for the big strawberry logo on the side of the road. It's the marker of Els Corondà d’en Celleràs Ibiza, a cool strawberry farm run by Rocco Bertinetti, a young entrepreneur and local farmer, originally from Argentina. The moment you step out of your car and park it behind the big tree, you immediately feel like you’ve entered a different world, away from the hustle and bustle of the island.
Rocco's story is fascinating. He grew up in Els Coronda, also known as the city of strawberries in Argentina. His grandparents and their grandparents before them harvested strawberries. As a result, Rocco has a deep connection to the fruit that goes back generations. Before he and his wife decided to dedicate themselves fully to farming on Ibiza in 2019, he worked as an economist, spending most of his time in the world of computers. However, he was also a chef for three years before becoming a farmer, which he says taught him a lot about the importance of fresh, organic produce. His strawberries are 100% organic, and he transforms them into delicious jams that he distributes to numerous hotels, markets, and organic shops.
When you enter the shop at Els Corondà d’en Celleràs Ibiza, you’ll immediately be hit by the sweet aroma of strawberries. It's the perfect place to pick up some fresh, 100% organic and local strawberries, including Rocco's homemade jams. And, the most exciting part if you tell us, you can pick your own strawberries from his land! Grab a basket from the shop and head out to the fields. The farm is open all year round, so there's no need to wait for a particular season to pick your own fresh, organic strawberries. How cool is that?
What inspired you to start a strawberry farm on Ibiza?
‘’Well, my family in Argentina comes from the city Els Coronda - in the center of Argentina - and the name of the area we now are in Ibiza is also called Can D’en Celleras. All of the strawberries that are produced in Argentina are from Els Coronda, so I literally grew up in the strawberry city of Argentina. When I was a kid, we were surrounded by strawberry lands. However, my parents didn’t continue with the strawberry productions at that time. Our concept is that you can visit our shop and pick your own strawberries on a piece of land which is right behind the shop. We also harvest the strawberries for distribution to shops, hotels and to transform the strawberries into other products we sell in the shop. ''
Rocco's approach to farming is unique and truly inspiring. As we walked through his farm, he explained to us the special treatment that he gives to his precious strawberry plants. For Rocco, the soil in which the strawberries grow is of utmost importance, and he takes great care to ensure that it remains protected and nourished. His method of soil treatment is 100% organic and free of any harmful unnatural products that could damage the plants. This not only protects the fresas from insects and bacteria, but also ensures that his strawberries are completely natural and chemical-free.
Rocco's commitment to organic farming extends to his use of water as well. He sources water from the nearest mountain, which he explained to us is visible from the farm on the opposite side of the road. This water is pure and untouched, and it helps to give his strawberries its unique flavor and taste.
13.000 and counting...
Thanks to Banc De Terres D'Eivissa (The Ibiza Landbank), Rocco has been able to expand his farm and plant over 13,000 strawberry plants within a week. ''The land you see with the 13.000 strawberry plants. We did this in one week. On Tuesday in the morning, there was nothing. I said ''Toni, I need your help'', and so he helped me a lot with the machines. Between Wednesday and Thursday, we made the holes in the plastic by hand. On Fridaymorning we installed the water equipment and in the afternoon we started with planting the fresas. Until Tuesday, then we finished. Now, I enjoy the view, haha!''
Picture: The 13.000 strawberries
''A good neighbor...''
It's not common to see young entrepreneurs establish such good relationships with the local community in the farming world in Ibiza, but Rocco has done just that. ‘’Thanks to Banc de Terres D'Eivissa we were able to expand our farm on the property next to the shop. Besides that, I also have a very good connection with the owners Toni and Maria.’’
Rocco's relationship with Toni and Maria, the owners of the land he grows his strawberries on, is a heartwarming example of how two groups of people from different backgrounds can come together to create something beautiful. Toni and Maria are Ibicencos, born and raised on the island, with a lot of unused property that was just sitting there before Rocco got in touch with them.
They help each other out with everything from borrowing trucks and farming equipment to sharing tips and advice. It's not just a business relationship - it became more a friendship. Rocco even jokes that Toni and Maria are like his second parents on the island. ''We help eachother with many things. They are very good people, they even invite us to BBQ's and it's amazing to have such a good relationship with them.''.
This kind of relationship between young international entrepreneurs and the older generation of Ibicencos with land on Ibiza is definetely not common. But, Rocco, Toni and Maria are proving that it's possible to bridge the gap and work together to create something truly special on the island.
It is truly amazing to see the different colors, shapes, and sizes of the strawberries. And knowing that they were all grown with such care and attention made us appreciate them even more. If you are in Ibiza, don't miss out on the opportunity to taste Rocco's delicious organic strawberries and experience the joy of picking your own fresh fruits on his beautiful farm. Enjoy. De Nada! ;-)
About Banc De Terres D'Eivissa
Banc De Terres D'Eivissa helps local farmers connect and take agricultural land into the ownership of landowners, which make it accessible to new farmers and existing farmers who want to expand or improve their production. The land is leased to farmers under agroecological management contracts. Since the relaunch of the project in September 2020, 54 hectares of disused farmland are under ecological management by 8 farmers, of which one of them is Rocco.
We got you Covered
When you book with Covered, we contribute €10 to the Healthy Soils and Biodiversity Program run by Banc De Terres D'Eivissa. We also ask this from the homeowners (also €10) and from you as a customer. A total of €30 per booking. Together we can make a small difference. We like to give these farmers a hand to make this happen and through this article you will get more insight into the project behind this partnership.
Pictures are made by @Medsea Studio.