When Brenda Irani and her husband first bought Son Braho in Alaró in 2012, it was a country idyll to laze around in the summers and play tennis. This lifestyle, however, changed in 2020 when Brenda and her family chose to quarantine in Mallorca. Global uncertainty and the risk of food shortages and isolating long-term, inspired Brenda to find ways that her family could self-sustain themselves. The result is a brand new enterprise called Simply Son Braho Farm, a place where families can get plant-first, nutritious meals made from their produce grown on the farm.
Empty shelves and big questions
During quarantine, it was the first time (in a long time) that Brenda and her family were together under the same roof. Her three boys are regularly away (either studying at university or attending boarding school) so having them in Mallorca gave the family a chance to reconnect. “Every night we made big dinners and played games. I know quarantine was terrible for a lot of people, but for our family it strengthened our relationship,” Brenda explains. Eating together and eating well became of great importance, and not just as a family but for the planet too. “I just started thinking about the virus and what’s going on in the world. At the time, shelves in London were going empty and I thought: ‘How do we as a family become as self-sustaining as possible?´”
While her sons would study, Brenda did her own research into how to grow food in the most environmentally conscious way. She started reading and watching documentaries, as well as expanding her kitchen garden. “The biggest thing we can all do is reduce our consumption of meat and fish, so I really tried to focus on that and planting a wide variety of things,” she says. The result was a leafy paradise – an abundance of fruit and vegetables across five hectares of fertile land. “I planted everything and had so much food that it actually stressed me out,” she says, laughing. The amount of produce quickly surpassed the needs of her own family, which inspired Brenda to network with other farmers and open her own farm shop in Santa Catalina.
An educational aspect
Cared for in the least impactful way, Brenda has everything from red hens and beehives to sweet broccoli and radishes. Her farm is a natural haven, grown pesticide-free and soon-to-be certified organic. The produce is harvested by a local permaculture team and she even makes her own freshly-prepared meals with the help of her plant-based chef, Jeff. “As well as our nutritious farm produce and meals, our aim is to raise an awareness about what we eat. It’s about food, but it’s equally about learning,” Brenda tell us. For now, workshops and classes are being held at her Santa Catalina base where there is also a full delicatessen and local product corner. In the future though, Brenda hopes to open her farm in Alaró for families to visit themselves. “I want to keep developing the farm so that children can visit and bring their own baskets to pick what they like,” she says, keen to build a future that is both selfsustaining and fun in equal measure.
Text by Rosie Foot
Photos by Sara Savage