Blogs in this series

Life in Culebrón is a disconnected series of pieces about the banal and ordinary of everyday life in an inland Alicante village seen from my very British perspective.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Solar panels and vines

We were in Jumilla today. Now Jumilla is over the border into Murcia the next region along but what applies there almost certainly applies here.

Jumilla is in the middle of its fiesta to celebrate the grape harvest. On Saturday everyone will be drenched in red wine but not yet. Instead we saw a display of decorated floats.

I was expecting the usual carnival floats but these were quite different. Each trailer was being used for a display of some sort. One was about the narrow gauge railway (so ugly, slow and noisy it was named after the cicada or chicharra) others showed the processes related to the traditional main crops of the region - grapes for wine, olives for oil and wheat to give both grain and the grass used for weaving baskets, shoes etc. Most were a tribute to the "old ways" but two featured vineyards giving way to fields full of solar panels to generate electricity.

One display had a series of notices saying that the wine industry was under threat, that the only answer was to introduce new varieties (to compete with the Southern Hemisphere wines) by grafting on new strains but that the most profitable graft was to rip up the vines and plant solar panels.

Odd really, Maggie and I always think the solar panels are good, there are some going up just past our Bodega in Culebrón for instance, but it just shows there are two sides to every story.


Joe Acosta said...


Just thought I would drop you a hello. "acosta" from

Looks like you have been busy in Culebron


Joe Acosta

Sue A said...

You have fields of solar panels? Not a fair trade in my opinion!

What about wind turbines? :-))