Carpenter for SEPTEMBER: We made a lot of progress after the fires and my new tiny home is rebuild. For the month of September I am looking for a skilled carpenter who can help with the plywood interior of the house (kitchen units on wheels and build in cabinets and platforms). I can offer you my 4x4meter army tent in the oak and cherry forest with a double bed and the field kitchen. I myself will be sleeping in the house on the other side of the land. If you are interested please send me an email with a link or photos of your work.
Animal sitter for AUGUST: I am also looking for a farm sitter who is experienced with animals (4 dogs and a small pig). My dogs are young rescues (1-4 years) and amazing individuals, but they all require a different approach and handling. I am looking for someone who understands dog language and behavior and enjoys cuddle and playtime with them. They live free on the farm which is fenced off. They need food and water twice a day and be put in the house at night (this is some times a challenge, unless you make it a fun game for them to come inside). I am looking for animal sitters for 9-13 August and 24 August until September 3.
UPDATE: The most destructive wildfire in Portugese history (October 2017) also swallowed my farm and made us homeless. We are working towards solutions and bought another valley of 5 hectares to start a sustainable project in harmony with nature. However right now I have to secure a stable environment for myself and the animals and don't have accomodation at the moment for volunteers, but this will change as soon as the weather gets better (May/June). I am especially looking for someone who's an experienced plantbased wholefood cook and people who are experienced with natural/permaculture gardening. I hope I am able to reply to your emails again from now on, otherwise find my on facebook. xx
Two years ago I left my comfortable city life in Amsterdam behind, sold most of my belongings, packed my dog and was ready to walk into the unknown. A few weeks later I crossed the border of Spain and Portugal, not knowing where I would settle or what my future would look like. I was drawn to an area on the foothills of the Serra de Estrela mountain range where I found 2 hectares of paradise land. It's my aim to establish a test and demoground for prototypes that accelerate the transition towards a circular economy on the topics of food, shelter and well-being.
From linear thinking towards circular living
The circular economy is an economical system based on the cradle-to-cradle philosophy rather than the linear cradle-to-grave economy we have been accustomed to. Conventional linear approaches to sustainability, like recycling, often make the efficient use of energy and materials their ultimate goal. While this can be a useful transitional strategy, it only tends to reduce negative impacts without transforming harmful activity. Our current linear design thinking often solves one problem on the surface but contributes to many other problems down the line and will therefore never result in truly sustainable solutions.
In order to design and produce in a truly sustainable way, without bringing harm to our environment and each other, the only thing we have to do is to correct our design errors by changing our way of thinking. Easy does it.
Over the summer, together with my local friend Joao, I have build an off-grid two story Treehouse as the first carbon positive demontstration house on the land. It consists for 90% of local, renewable, natural materials and doesn't compromise on modern day comfort. We've build this house without the use of fossil fuels, so it has been entirely powered by the sun and our own input. Water is gravity fed from a natural source 20 meters uphill and heated with wood through a Bailarina. The solar panels provide me with electricity and a small wood burner keeps me warm during the colder months. I am planning to build three more small demonstration homes with as much natural, renewable, locally sourced resources, innovations and alternative technology as possible where I take nature as source, not as an inexhaustible resource.
If we move into the direction of a sustainable future, I believe that local self reliance, a deeper connection with nature and creative collaboration both online and offline will help us reach this goal. Therefore I like to experiment with establishing an alternative form of community. One where authenticity, individual empowerment and creativity are the driving forces in order to collaboratively find a common unity and meet our human needs.
In order to become self sufficient in our food and shelter needs and to provide a surplus to share with others I am planning to live on the farm with two more families and reserve another house for international creative professionals who contribute their skills and time to the project for a shorter period of time.
Besides the permanent residents and collaborators, I expect approx 200 visitors per year who participate in educational courses and co-creation projects or who are interested in experiencing a new lifestyle designed in harmony with nature. In order to provide these people with organic plantpowered meals, we will grow food based on the principles of Natural farming, The carbon farming solution, Permaculture, Holistic planned grazing and regenerative agriculture. On my website you can read more about the four pillars of sustainable agricultural practices that form the foundation to meet our nutritional and medicinal needs while doing so in harmony with nature.
Eventually this project will create ecological and social impact through experimentation, development, testing, connection, knowledge sharing and by providing a large group of visitors and online followers real alternatives and solutions to move towards a more sustainable lifestyle. I am offering the opportunity to volunteer during certain weeks of the year. We will work on exxciting projects and you experience what it's like to live among trees, to wake up with the sound of birds, to feel nature's warm embrace and to enjoy the beautiful surroundings I find myself in.
DIY and building projects
Creating/ Cooking family meals
Help with Eco Projects
Help around the house
You ll be working under supervision of my very talented wood working neighbor Marko who will teach you about roundwood construction, joinery, tools and techniques. You are able to experience an off-grid lifestyle where we provide in our own water, electricty, heating and shelter needs.
You learn about natural foundation without the need to use cement and you are able to explore the area and existing (foreigner) community who all chose to live a more sustainable lifestyle close to nature. There are at least 2 music events happening each month and often there are other workshops, events or markets to attend.
From May/June onwards I am especially looking for someone who's an experienced plantbased wholefood chef and people who are experienced with natural/permaculture gardening. I hope I am able to reply to your emails again from now on, otherwise find my on facebook. xx
It's extra fun if you come with a (girl)friend because you'll be sharing the village house (basic, but provides two bedrooms, small kitchen and batroom). If at least one of you fits one of the following descriptions, even better:
☯️ an experienced carpenter or someone who’s good with saws, drills and hammers, who's interested in learning about roundwood building and joinery but also takes on some furniture project with milled square wood.
☯️ someone passionate about cooking nutritional delicious plantbased wholefood meals
Accommodation and organic plantpowered food is included. You won't be spending much money around here because everything is very cheap (eg espresso/beer/cake in the cafe cost 0,60 euro). You can find cheap flights with Easyjet, Ryanair or TAP to either Porto or Lisbon. From there a convenient bus with wifi takes you towards paradise (stop = Catraia de Mouronho)!
You will sleep in rental house in the village (100m from the farm) where I have been living after the fire. Its more than 100 years old, so nothing fancy, but it has 2 small bedrooms, small kitchen & bathroom, a cute backyard and rooftop terrace. The village has 2 cafes and 2 little stores.
I will schedule a skype call with those interested to find out if we are a suitable match and we will chat some more about the project.
Limited internet access
We have pets
We are smokers
Can host families
Maximum 4-5 hours a day, 5 days a week