I was born and raised in Australia but I've been living in Europe now for over 20 years. While I was living in Barcelona I got inspired by Permaculture and this led me back to Australia again to do my PDC. Later the desire to find my own land set me on a journey that eventually brought me back to Europe again, into the heart of Portugal, where I found my peace, of land.
I found an amazing piece of land, so much treasure here! Ruins, structures, water ways, large water tanks made of granite, all of which had to be uncovered from under the blackberry bushes!! I arrived here in June of 2011 and have been slowly clearing areas of brush, mulching, and planting more trees, while at the same time working to fix structures and build garden beds, and most importantly bulid soil!
As it stands at the moment I'm spending most of my focus working on raising funds for the several projects I have running, one of which has to do with creating rural neighbourhood reforestation zones . The main project is my farm a permaculture regeneration project. At present the focus is on clearing and mulching scrub land in preparation for tree planting, capturing and storing energy (such as trees and water) and in getting more accommodation here for housing visitors and volunteers (short term and long term).
I try and spend as much time as I can doing hands-on development / maintenance work around the farm and other times I'm working on developing the online projects. I'd love some hard working and conscientious people to come and join in here and to help me with things that I don't have time for.
Cooking / shopping
Help with Eco project
Help in the house
Help with Computers / internet
I have a strong connection with a growing community of permaculture projects around here so if you are interested in meeting more people where potentially you could also visit on a work exchange basis then I could be a bridge to that.
I believe in fair exchange, so when it comes to communication I expect a fair and equal exchange based on honest sharing and empathy. If you like to talk or preach a lot then this might not be the place for you.
I'm looking for easy going people with a good sense of awareness regarding personal boundaries and full circle living. There is no fixed schedule here, and once we've agreed on your assigned tasks/projects then you can work to a schedule that suits you. Normally I ask for 4-5 hours a day in exchange for food and accommodation but I'm also open to 2-3 hours a day in exchange for accommodation/camping only.
If you are particularly handy at fixing up spaces with second hand materials then you may be interested in a live-in refurbishment project. I've got an old caravan which needs some fixing. I need someone who is creative with respects to finding building solutions from limited stock of second hand material and someone who feels competent at building things in a solid way. If you're interested and you think that you're suitable to this task then please get in touch.
Something else that I really need help with right now is bush clearing, mulching, tree planting and watering. Some of this work requires that you're in reasonably good physical shape and not afraid of a bit of hard work (along with a few scratches and bruises).
English, Spanish, Portuguese, Italian
This project is still in its infancy and therefore quite basic. Because of this it may not accommodate all tastes.
Accommodation. There are several options:
1. You can pitch up a tent under the mimosas. It's a cool spot in summer and often includes a hammock very close by. There are also other areas around if you prefer somewhere more private.
2. There is a small caravan which has a comfortable bed, storage compartments, some shelves and a small desk. Clean and comfortable.
3. There is a small room in the small house. The small house also has a (shared) kitchen, composting toilet, internet room / office and lounge. Because of the fact that it's a shared house it might not be as private a space as the caravan or tent.
As yet there are no shower facilities but there is a bathing area down by the tank near the water mine where there is fresh cool clean water from the tank - it's perfect in summer. In the colder months however you have to boil some water.
The small house has a small composting toilet.
You may have to be prepared to cook for yourself at times as I'm not always able.
Regarding the running of the house, especially the kitchen. It's a shared space, and so it's up to everyone to maintain good habits with regards to order and cleanliness. This, along with helping to keep this area litter free is always highly appreciated in those who come to visit :-)
I have a good working bike (and several more that need some fixing) that you can use to go out and explore the area. There are also plenty of cafes in the surrounding villages where you could hang out, have a coffee, play cards and learn the Portuguese ways with the locals.
If you prefer peaceful and quiet activities then there are plenty of places around here to meditate, read a book or just relax. If you are interested in yoga then we will soon have a yoga deck installed where you can practice yoga - There will be a regular paid class on monday but the deck will be available any time outside of that for your own practice.
In summer we often have regular community events so you will be welcome to join in on those events when they happen. I also do some reggae nights, either at a venue, or on the farm, just to keep myself sane.
A note on some things you'll need to bring:
- sleeping bag
- waterproof jacket / umbrella
- work boots
- work clothes that you don't mind getting muddy or stained
- warm clothes for evenings and for sleeping in when it gets cold
- hat for sunny weather
- towel - a small quick drying one is good
- chemical-free biodegradable soap / shampoo / toothpaste etc
Please do not bring any shower gels / deodorants etc with artificial perfumes.
We have work gloves you can borrow if needed, and wellies can be bought cheaply or we may have some your size.
Limited internet access
We have pets
We are smokers
More than two
4-5 hours a day, maybe 5 days a week