By Cinta Benet
Video: Priscila Alegre
Green, yellow and blue. Two cool colors and a warm color. A combination that forms an idyllic setting. Once Sant Jaume passes the landscape is cleared and the view delights in observing the infinity of the rice fields that form the Delta of the Ebro. The whisper of the birds completes a picture that brushes the perfection, a point of evasion where the mind is carried away by the rhythm of the wind that makes the ears dance, the thoughts are extinguished to leave us a feeling of serenity, of fullness, of admiration. Admiration for a land that is capable of creating beauty with only three colors. Admiration for people who have been able to preserve what nature has given them, admiration for being able to make this small corner of the world an eternal place.
Rice growers are the guardians of this paradise. Juan Trías de Romero is one of them. The past marks the present. One hundred years ago his grandfather bought a farm in the Delta del Ebro with the illusion of being able to devote his time. Thus began the cultivation of rice in the family. This was the legacy he left for his son, who innovated with the methods of that time to improve rice cultivation. It later passed into the hands of his grandson, the current manager of the estates and also who gave the name to Illa de Riu, Mr. Trias, who takes care of every inch of land as if it were a part of his heart. Overcoming, appreciation and desire to do the job well done not to disappoint a past that has worked very hard. Juan continues to innovate to offer the best quality of the three varieties that he cultivates: Bomba, Bahia and Carnaroli.
In the fields you can observe many people working regardless of rain, snow or alone. A passion for the tradition of a highly respected product in the Ebro Lands, "rice we take care of it from the beginning, the Bomba rice we cultivated from the first generation". The cultivation process is complex. Each year you start from scratch by creating your own seed from a very careful selection process in which only the best ears of each generation are selected; a process that is carried out from four generations of sister spikes.
The best of these will be the ones that will give way to the campus of the fields. Feelings of gratitude arise when Juan talks about his farm and all those people who have left and leave their mark, "without them Illa de Riu would not be the one that is."
Days are transformed into weeks and weeks are transformed into years. When you spend a lifetime on rice and the Delta it becomes difficult to choose a time that stands out. Every moment has its charm, he explains. It has the same value elmes de Julio when the fields are green as when only the stubble remains. The appreciation that John has to his office is noted. Live all stages of rice production as if it were the first time. It transmits emotion to the speech of the moment of the harvest with the trasiego of the tractors, "a very grateful moment and very full where ends the effort of the whole year". But do not forget April, when all the land is prepared. A moment like having the clothes clean and ironed, an instant where everything is ready to start the crop.
The ears move to the rhythm of the wind and Juan Trías observes them. He admires them while explaining how they have tried to maintain the aesthetic beauty of the Delta on their farms, respecting the style they breathed when they acquired the property now a hundred years ago. They keep a typical tent of the area and two rural houses, Casa Cusa and Mas Illa de Riu. An opportunity to live an experience to feel the nature, to wake up with the song of the birds in the middle of the ricefields of an infinite natural park. This is her way of returning to earth all she has given him, a tribute to a corner of the world that over the years is valued by people more and more.
The rice, the fields and the Ebro Delta together form a fascinating landscape that welcomes you and catches you in a matter of seconds and does not let you go. This Juan knows very well, who invites everyone who contacts him to go to the Delta and in Illa de Riu. Words are too much when the experience is so intense.