Hi everyone! My name is Joan Planells, this is my story and that of my family, and the relationship we have with the countryside, agriculture, tourism and Ibiza. We run a small agrotourismus called “Can Planells”. Casa ibicenca is located near the village of Sant Miquel de Balansat in the municipality of Sant Joan de Labritja, in the north of the island.
The Planells were originally from Catalonia and they settled in Ibiza after the island was recaptured and led by the aristocrat Guillem de Montgrí, Archbishop of Tarragona in 1235. The island was populated by peasants who came from the Girona area and Maresme along the Barcelona coast.
The family first dedicated themselves solely to agriculture, which was their livelihood. Agriculture in those times was virtually self-sufficient, as a portion was allocated for sale. A small part of the garden was dedicated to growing vegetables and legumes for consumption, and the rest of the farm was used to cultivate barley, wheat and rain-fed trees such as almond trees, fig trees and others.
In the late 50s, Pere Planells, my father, began an ambitious project to modernise the farm, diversifying crops and increasing production for export. He started a livestock farm with poultry, pigs and dairy cows. He then purchased agricultural machinery, installed new irrigation systems and started drilling new wells in search of water, which was necessary to ensure the success of the production.
With the advent of tourism, there was a major increase in demand for fresh produce in Ibiza. Farmers had to change their crop systems and this modernisation significantly increased productivity, resulting in a large decrease in human effort and a great change in the Ibizan countryside to supply all the tourists who came to Ibiza to stay in hotels and eat in restaurants.
As a result of the economic prosperity that the arrival of tourism brought, the livelihood of the current generation of Planells has nothing to do with agriculture or livestock. We found ourselves in the right circumstances and we were given the opportunity to make a change, as our father did to preserve the farm, and at the same time profit from the renovation and conservation of our house. We converted Can Planells into a rural and charming hotel.