The Canary Islands archipelago boasts a beautiful natural landscape. Its new agricultural methods respect the environment and have plenty to offer for those who want to get closer to nature and ethical agricultural production. The islands produce several varieties of crops that hold a great history in the fields and orchids of the islands, including:
- Aloe Vera
- Sugar Cane
Aloe vera is a very popular crop with plants grown on the Canary Islands retaining some of the highest percentages of vitamins. Many are certified as organic products by the Canarian Institute of Agrifood Quality of the Government of the Canary Islands. Ricardo Javier Lima had a keen interest in Aloe Vera before he along with his family acquired a farm in Valverde, El Hierro. “We ensure that the products are always of the highest quality. We make sure goods for consumption either orally or via the skin reach health and ecological standards. The aloe vera plant is easy to work with,” Eduardo says.
For years, the Canary Islands has been the key European source for agricultural crops and tropical plant species that can only be found under the island’s special weather system. Sugar cultivation continues to this day. It is used, for example, to distil the tasty Canary Islands rum. In Tenerife and Gran Canaria there are kilometres of sugar cane that is collected once a year to make a rum that has a great historical tradition. The secrets of sugar cultivation reached the archipelago from the Caribbean more than four hundred years ago.
You can learn about how to make ethical and health-conscious sugar from the land in the shadow of the Teide National Park, in Tenerife, in the Sacred Mountains of Gran Canaria, recognized together with the Risco Caído as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The Canary Islands also has a long tradition of maintaining vineyards and producing wine. Producers have been perfecting the art of viticulture for centuries. In more recent times, growers have been making the transition to organic production in the vineyards of Gáldar, in Gran Canaria, La Villa de La Orotava and Güimar, in Tenerife. The reception for these products has been very positive. Denomination of Origin status products from Valle de Güimar Momentos have recently obtained the Great Gold Medal and the Best Ecological Wine of the Canary Islands in the Agrocanarias Contest.
Coffee is another local crop that attracts many visitors, especially to the Agaete Valley, in Gran Canaria. According to Víctor Lugo, the proud owner of one of the most traditional estates in the area, this is “a magical place that has the ideal conditions for the best gourmet coffees in the world”. Coffee is grown at an altitude of 200 meters with artisanal production and manual harvesting. These fertile lands have a microclimate very similar to Colombia. Víctor says that the tradition of cultivation “goes back four or five generations, when the seeds arrived at the Port of Agaete from South America”. He continues: “Now there are more than twenty families who have made their livelihood out of a passion for this crop”. The Canary Islands is the only place to grow coffee in Europe.