Gereon Janzing, geobotánico y etnobotánico
Gereon Janzing, geobotánico y etnobotánico

Geobotanical Excursions

If you would like to learn about plants and ecology on Ibiza, you'll be welcome to take part in my geobotanical excursions. I can show you plants in their habitats, speak about their tradicional and possible uses and their ecological roles, thanks to my university career, to contacts with local people and to practical works. All that is necessary from your part is interest in nature and in Ibiza.

I read technical literature in Catalan and listen to lectures in Ibicencan. If you do not know Catalan, you cannot do that, still you can participate in my excursions and learn those things in English. My website is in four languages: Catalan, Spanish, German and English.

Centaurea melitensis

We have had quite many beautiful excursions with good vibes among the participants. In order that it stays that way and that you can enjoy beautiful walks, I'd like to clarify some things.

If you are interested in medicinal plants, I'm not really an expert nor do I have a schooling, however I know some basics. I'm interested in any topic of self-sufficiency. I often use wild plants for eating or making teas. If you have got a health problem, of course, it is good to create a solution. Problems exist for being solved. It is clear that no plant, however good it is, can substitute a healthy lifestyle. So, if you have got little physical activity, smoke a lot, moreover follow an imbalanced diet and swallow food supplements (an issue of big business), the solution does not lie in some miraculous little plant but in a change of your lifestyle. Since medicinal plants - just like commercial remedies - are for curing diseases and I have never had many diseases till now, I admit that I luckily don't have many experiences with them. Still I use plants for their effects, for example for stimulating or tranquilizing myself. On Ibiza it is common to speak of "healing" (often in English, even in Spanish sentences), I prefer to speak of conserving one's health.

If you know something to contribute about uses (also medicinal ones), Ibicencan traditions, ancestral wisdom, experiences of your own, whatever, great. Me too, I am fond of learning.

Children are welcome to my excursions, I only ask that the accomanying adults feel responsible.

If you want to bring your dog, it is convenient to make it clear in advance, in most cases it is possible. Keep it under control. If it is ill-educated, leave it at home; I´ve met dogs that molest cyclers, please no such dogs in my excursions. If your dog cannot stay quiet when seeing herds of goats and sheep, leave it at home. The major problem for herdspeople and their flocks are usually dogs.

If you smoke, it is your responsibility not to smoke in sensitive zones like forests and never to throw fagends into nature.

Of course, in ecology like in any other science we have got technical terms, which every ecologist understands but which might sound strange to others (like "logistic growth", "ecological vicariance", "cation-exchange capacity"). Don't let yourself be scared by the difficulties of our science, I'll try and explain myself in a way that the audience understands me. I only ask that you, if you have got no ecological schooling, please do not play the wise guy, do not insist in urban myths on ecology. Ecology is not based on opinions but on facts. Not everything is valid as many people on Ibiza believe.

We respect nature. We can take some plants for some use and I understand that this is a main interest for many people but we always respect the ecosystems without over-exploiting them. We respect the crop fields. We do not step on them. Also control your dog concerning that.

If you consider yourself a hippie, a child of Mother Earth, whatever, great. Please respect that not everyone of us is a hippie. And respect the agriculturalists and their works: The crops on the fields and the fruits on the trees are not ours. As for me, I'm very much of a hippie if that means practicing little consumerism and respecting nature, thanks to my schooling I even understand nature and her needs better. But I am anything but a hippie if that means disdaining society while taking advantage from it.

We respect Ibiza's traditions. We do not practice vandalism. If you follow a snobby diet, that is your personal matter. If you don't take milk and dairy products, still respect that Ibiza is an island with a great milk and cheese tradition. If you don't like that, go to Japan, not to Ibiza. If you don't eat meat, still respect that the slaughterings are necessary for Ibiza's economical and ecological balance. My ego is very vegetarian but I appreciate biodiversity, a good resource management and social life and therefore sometimes I overcome my ego.

Take into account that Ibiza owes many ecosystems of a great biodiversity to pasture grazing. I think it is suitable to say thanks to the herdspeople for caring for the countryside, every person with ecological interest should do that. Especially if we collect herbs in pasture ecosystems, for example thyme.

Illa de sa Mesquida

The vast majority of the participants are usually respectful. Only once was there a group of vegans who behaved like the world was theirs, they were only interested in the use of plants, in exploiting nature, they did not want to know anything about the ecosystems, about the people who care for nature, the people to whom we owe the presence of some plants. German people with no interest in Ibiza, some young women of whom I suspect that behind their deficitarian diet they hid an anorexia. Such egocentrism is not of my liking in my excursions. We are not alone in the world. My excursions are just for perceiving our surrounding. We make use of nature but we do not abuse her.

Even if you are superior to the others and to nature for being a vegan or a Jehova's witness, in my excursions you won't be treated as superior, you'll have to respect the others. For practicing mission, please, look for another forum. If you are vegan, in my excursions you'd better hide that vice of yours from those who follow a more natural diet.

If you believe that livestock factory farming or veganism or some other consumerist practice of the affluent society has a potential to save the planet, you'll feel pretty strange in my excursions, they are not carnival events. Where there are problems, I do not want to dream of childish solutions, I want to create real solutions.

Pityusian goat (cabra pitiüsa)

Nature has a lot to show us, let's listen to her joyfully!