For Montserrat Pons i Boscana, the countryside, and more specifically fig trees, are his life and passion. This is evident at Son Mut Nou, the largest fig tree experimentation farm in the world, which is located in the municipality of Llucmajor.
He claims that his fondness for this tree began through his profession as a pharmacist, more specifically in the apothecary area, with botany. But who really ignited his passion for fig trees was his friend Josep Sacarès i Mulet, who had a collection of 40 fig trees, which were indigenous to Mallorca on his country estate ‘Míner’.
Fig tree cultivation is common throughout the Mediterranean, although this tree can be found all over the world. A good example of this fact is that at Son Mut Nou, there are more than 3,000 fig trees and 1,324 varieties from 64 different countries – from Thailand, China, South Africa and Canada. In addition, thanks to the hard work of Montserrat Pons, Son Mut Nou has 260 varieties of fig trees from the Balearic Islands, a few examples that he saved from disappearing before the progressive abandonment of the field in favour of the tourism industry.
A tree with historical roots
Son Mut Nou was started in 1995 and thanks to this project, Montserrat Pons has taken the name of the Balearic Islands all over the world as he has participated in all the international congresses, which are held biennially, the latest one in Croatia earlier this year. Montserrat explains that the fig tree is a symbol of identity for the Mallorcans, a generous tree in the dry land of Mallorca that has always given exquisite fruit.
In Son Mut Nou there are fig trees with history, such as the one that comes from ancient Olympia, specifically with a thousand-year tree from the cloister where the athletes ate before exercising and competing. “We also have a special collection of fig trees related to literature,” explains Pons. “These are fig trees under which great poets such as Rosalia de Castro, Maria Antònia Salvà, Miguel Hernandez, Antonio Machado or Ponç Pons, sat and wrote.” In fact, it is a tree that is present in classical mythology – since it was the fruit of the gods of Olympus – and in the Bible – where he explains that Adam and Eve used fig leaves to cover their nudity before God.
In Son Mut Nou there are fig trees with history, such as the one that comes from ancient Olympia, specifically with a thousand-year tree from the cloister where the athletes ate before exercising and competing.
Visits for groups
Son Mut Nou is open all year round, but the best time to visit the farm is from early May until late September. There you can discover the history of a tree linked to human evolution, way beyond subsistence, while at the same time allows us to understand the culture and identity of the Mallorcans. Guided tours can be organised for groups with a minimum of 20 people, who will receive an explanation and a tasting of the products prepared at Son Mut such as jams, chutney, vinegar, ‘arrop’ (syrup), wine, coffee and tea made from the figs grown on the farm, in addition to typical products of Mallorca such as the ‘pa of figa’ (fig bread), the ‘figat’ menorquin (homemade fig jam from Menorca) and dried figs. “Anyone is welcome to come and walk around the estate, free of charge,” says Pons – preferably on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays.” These visits are essential for the maintenance of the farm, which survives thanks the sale of the products made with the figs as well as the cultivation of cereals and almonds, in addition to the support it receives from the Balearic Island Government through the Institut de Recerca i Formació Agrària i Pesquera (The Research and Training Institute for Agriculture and Fishing).
Son Mut Nou
Camí de sa Torre, km 3,200 (diversion Camí des Palmer). Llucmajor. Mallorca
(+34) 646 63 32 59
Preferred days for visits: Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday.
Price for groups with tasting session €5 per person