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We are building a Fab Lab inside a farm, check Algarve Fab Farm on Facebook or fab lab network. At the moment we are renovating a ruin and building a treehouse and everything that comes with it. Such as compost toilet, shower, kitchen but also the treehouse itself.
The farm (22 hectares) is located in the western Algarve, south of Portugal, with beautiful beaches and small villages. Secluded but only a few minutes by car from the nearest village. (Barão de São João)
The project is a mix of low and high tech. We started it on an old long forgotten farm and we are really building everything from scratch. I started building the infrastructure of the farm in the late 2016, from roads, lake (rainwater collection), renovating a ruin, build the lab machines to setting up a solar grid. We are mostly off the grid but we still buy gas for cooking and heating, even that I want to eliminate as well with a sewer biodigestor gas collector.
The idea is to farm with help of tech, or to tech with help of the farm :-). I want to create a space were thinkers, makers & farmers can learn, create and share technology to improve everyone's lives. The lab will serve farmers or just anybody; artists, inventors, surfers, hackers...
We are a family of 5 with two girls (15 and 13 years old) and a boy of 10 years old. We have 4 very friendly dogs, 3 cats, 1 pig , 23 happy chickens, all living in harmony!
So we need help in so many areas right now that you would surely fit in in what you already like to do. And if you want to explore new areas you will be welcome.
Attention: Winter in the Algarve is mostly warm during the day but it can be cold and rainy and then you can have a sunny afternoon and rain again at night. The weather is a bit unpredictable but temperatures are never below 8 degrees
Celsius. So bring boots and a rain coat.
Cooking / shopping
Help with Eco project
Help in the house
Help with Computers / internet
Learn about digital fabrication as well as help build an environment that will benefit the community around us. We will explore traditional and new construction techniques. Imagine mixing adobe with 3d printing or making your own surfboard.
The help I need is very generic:
- from setting up pumps to help build a machine;
- renovate the ruin with traditional methods;
- plant experimental and traditional crops;
- setup our website
- build accommodations for helpers and guests of the lab.
- pile fire wood
At the moment the focus is the house and to implement the infrastructure for the Glamping site: wooden decks, external kitchen, lounge area and compost toilet and shower.
Projects like making solar panels for water heating, finishing setting up the lab, or laying a wood floor are currently going on but also we have more basic stuff like planting vegetables, fruit trees, and feeding farm animals...
I have built a milling CNC, 3d printers and laser cutters and I intend to use this machines to assist in building all this projects, also it's my intention to document every process and release it on the internet.
English, Portuguese, Spanish, some Chinese
We have a very comfy caravan that should be shared with other volunteers and those with their own campervans are also welcome. We have a compost toilet, sink and shower with hot water.
When volunteering with us, we would like that you observe the following notes about sleep, food, work, waste, etc...
- What can you expect: you can expect nice food, a very friendly and welcoming family, nice views, a quiet and peaceful place, fresh vegetables from our organic garden, physical work, dirty hands, and the use of your skill.
- Leisure: Surf and great weather most of the year. Nice small villages. Bike and walking tracks everywhere around.
- The work: should be 5 hours a day 5 days a week. You will be responsible to keep track of your own time and as we work on a trust basis, we won’t be looking over your time or tasks frequently. We will discuss tasks the day before or after breakfast. You should expect physical work - farm (hard) work, building work, as well as the works related to setting up the fabfarm or the glamping.
- Food: We will have lunch together, as for the other meals (breakfast and dinner) we supply the ingredients. On the weekends we take a break, but you can cook with our ingredients. We cook Brazilian food and we also occasionally like to bake pizzas on weekends. If you have special dietary requirements we always try to accommodate that in the menu but we ask you that you arrange any special cooking or ingredients by yourself. You will be expected to rinse and wash your dishes, and to cook in rotation with others.
- Snacks: We don't supply snacks, we ask you to arrange your preferred ones at the villages shop and keep it with you.
- Waste: We separate our waste so we also expect you to place food leftovers on a bowl to be feed to the farm animals, and the rest should be separated for recycling (plastics, paper, glass, etc.…).
- Smoking: is prohibited inside the caravan and the house, also always have in mind that cigarettes can start wildfires and specially in the summer this is a very sensitive matter for the entire country.
- Drugs: It’s an uncomfortable subject that must be dealt in the beginning. We don’t judge what people do in their time in their places but we don’t allow illegal drugs on the farm and we expect all guest to understand and respect this.
- Accommodation: Guests would stay in a caravan or a tent. The Caravan is quite new (it was my family's home for one year before I moved to the ruin) and it can fit a couple and 2 singles comfortably (in a double bed and bunk bed). So you might have to share the space with males and/or females. Smoking inside the caravan is not allowed. Keep it clean, organized and well maintained.
- Personal hygiene: We have an outside compost toilet, sink and shower with hot water. We ask you to bring you towel, sunscreen and only biodegradable shampoo/soap, since we try to be as much sustainable as we can/know.
- Travel and going around: We recommend coming by car or renting a scooter in Lagos, we can always give rides, since we’re almost daily coming and going to town and around :-). The village of Barão de São João is 5 min away by car or 30 min (2 km) on foot on along a dirt road, where you can find bars and restaurants. There is a bus stop 4 minutes by car from the farm that can take you to Lagos where there is the nearest train station, there you will find supermarkets. If you arrive in the Algarve by Faro Airport the company shuttledirect dot com will bring you here for around 30 Euros.
- Our Pets: We have 3 cats and 4 dogs, one is big and loves to play. If you don't like, is scared, have allergies or is uncomfortable with a big dog please do not apply.
Limited internet access
We have pets
We are smokers
More than two
5 hours a day, 5 days a week