UPDATE July 2019
Summer time has arrived!
We get very hot days here in summer so we tend to start work early (maybe 7am). The farm looks beautiful in the early mornings. This also means we have the rest of the day free to relax, swim and enjoy the sun.
In addition to our farm, my girlfriend Julia has just taken over a cafe at a local river beach so we are spending lots of time hanging out and swimming at this beautiful location.
On the farm the usual summer jobs of strimming and veg garden maintenance continue.
Building wise, we need help finishing the natural swimming pool.
Inside the farm house, building work slowly continues with new bathrooms being installed.
Currently we have a small crew, just 2 lovely Workaways who have been with us for several months. They are more like family now! In fact one woman loves it here so much she has bought a house down the road. We are however looking to increase the crew a bit to maybe 4 or 5 Workaways.
In the summer we get lots of enquirers from students on their summer holidays. Although we enjoy having all sorts of people in the house we would prefer people who have done a fair amount of physical work in the past and have experience in either gardening or DIY.
We are also looking for a couple with their own car.
We work on a one week trial basis for both parties. If either you are not happy with us or we are not happy with you then we part company after a week (or when convenient), no hard feelings.
This is not an offer of a free holiday. We need you to be genuinely useful and add to the project. There are easier placements out there if you just want to relax. On the plus side, we've created an exceptionally lovely Workaway for you here and we promise your hard work will be worth it.
In the house we communicate in English, although Julia speaks Portuguese, German, Italian and Spanish as well. I only answer messages in English. Thanks.
WHAT WE CAN OFFER YOU
A friendly environment in a stunning house in its own private valley surrounded by forest.
Peace and quite with plenty of forest and river to explore
The house is large and we have several private rooms for Workaways plus a large dorm. In the summer the house stays nice and cool and all have some heating so, in the winter, as long as the fire is lit it is pretty cosy.
New mattresses and bed linen so you get a good night's sleep.
Hot bath and shower.
Three meals a day made from fresh locally grown produce. We eat mainly veggie but occasionally eat meat (with alternatives for vegans and veggies).
Please note, we are really happy to provide you with great fresh, healthy, but basic, food. If you require expensive supplements, specialist products or wish to eat abnormal quantities of anything then we kindly ask that you buy these yourself rather than deplete the communal supply.
The possibility of trips out on Sundays (our day off). We often go to a big lake or have lunch at the restaurant nearby. We now have a small motor boat to take on adventures :-)
In the summer there are also plenty of festivals and concerts to attend.
We are happy for you to smoke on the terrace, which has a fabulous view across the valley.
(Some) free beer and wine is provided for our hard workers.
A washing machine for your clothes.
For rainy days we have board games, musical instruments, books, table tennis and netflix.
We have several guitars, banjos, a fiddle, electric piano, clarinet, harmonicas, melodica, trombone, cajon, full drum kit and even two double basses for you to make music on. I am happy to share what I know.
We regularly get involved with the local Portuguese musicians to put on gigs and are often visited by Paul's UK/USA musician friends. We regularly host music parties on the farm or at the river beach.
We have WiFi (now working well)
Plus the town is only 40 mins walk away.
We have one dog, Tasca and a cat, Menina, both of whom are exceptionally sweet. Many of our friends, who regularly pop, over also have dogs. We also now have a few rare breed chickens running around.
WHAT WE WOULD LIKE FROM YOU
Four hours work a day, six days a week. The work is physical, so expect to be tired. During the summer we tend to start work around 7am since by 11am its roasting, but the rest of the year 9am or 10am works fine. We'd be grateful if you could get yourself out of bed and fix yourself breakfast ready to start for then.
Any gardening and building skills are very much appreciated but if you only have energy, enthusiasm and willingness to learn, then that is also grand. Please however do let us know when you apply, if you have never used tools such as an electric drill.
Taking your turn, unprompted, to cook, wash up, lay the table, clear away and keeping the house clean.
We have communal lunch and dinner together every work day. We see meal time as a very important part of the day, so please join us.
We want to hang out with you!
We would very much like it if you could try to integrate with the other people living in the house. We usually have around 4 to 15 workaways, friends, musicians and random strangers in the house at anytime, although it varies daily. When everyone pulls together it creates a really lovely atmosphere.
Your smiles and enthusiasm, ideas, opinions, jokes, games, music and anything else that you can think of that makes community life fun and rewarding.
ABOUT THE FARM AND IT OWNER
Hi, my name is Paul.
In June 2015 I bought Quinta Sao Jose, a beautiful, abandoned terraced farm in central Portugal. My intention, along with my lovely Brazilian /German girlfriend Julia, is to create a little paradise through gardening, music and community. The farm is set in its own stunning, private valley close to the nice little town of Serta, Central Portugal. Come and share our home.
My dream of living communally in the countryside began 26 years ago when I spent a long night analysing what living environment would suit me best. I have had this dream in my mind when making most of my life decisions.
So my hopes and dreams for the quinta (farm)....
I would like to increase the beauty and biodiversity of the place, even as building work commences.
I would like to follow organic/permaculture principles and welcome expert advice. Currently finishing the house is the main priority but we do have several terraces laid out for veg.
I would like everyone on the farm to work together in a friendly manner with a sense of community. I dislike rules and rotas, instead I prefer to activate the inner community spirit we all hold within us.
The general principle for staying will follow a Workaway model. Four hours work a day, six days a week for basic food and lodging. We all take turns to cook, and we would expect you to take regular turns too.
I would like us to grow as much of our own food as possible. We already have had some amazing veg and fruit and are planning for much more next year.
Apart from growing food for our own consumption we can also grow to sell. Anything of good quality we can bottle or jar can be sold in my pub in London. Mushrooms, olive oil, jams, pickles, dried foods, honey etc.
There is a derelict barn on the site, (we call it the Chicken Hotel), which has 39 double rooms, and, when developed, could host yoga/massage/music/creative retreats. This is some way off so yoga teachers, hold your horses!
I would like to engage with and complement the local community. This has been going well and we have formed strong ties and friendships.. The Portuguese are charming people.
I would like to hold an annual large festivals (over 100 people) plus smaller parties through the year. Our next big event will be a folk and world music festival in the town 14th and 15th June 2019 but we will probably have some smaller events before.
I'd like to keep chickens, for eggs, land clearing and fertiliser. The chicken house is now completed, we just need some chicks....
I would like to reforest the entire valley with native/food forest trees. Last year we sold and felled several hundred Eucalyptus and Pine trees. This area has escaped the forest fires for decades but it was sensible to make the farm safer. The area around the house is now clear, safe and planted with fruit trees.
Set up a little campsite, after all there are 14 acres of terraces and forest. The first tent area is now complete, next is a parking area for big trucks and campervans.
I have spent the past 15 years building up a folk music pub in London. I still own the business and am hoping the farm will tie in with the great music scene we have in London. I've started putting on gigs and a festival in the local towns, to great success, and we have a steady stream of skilled and experienced musicians through the house.
I'd like to one day build a small recording studio in the old pigsties.
I enjoy a challenge and don't mind working hard!
I guess I am a hippy in some ways but I am not just a dreamer, I guess I am also a capitalist in some ways, but with ethics and compassion.
Currently the house has electricity, internet, gas, water, bathrooms and heating.
If you would like to get stuck in please get in touch.
Paul and Julia
Cooking / shopping
Help with Eco project
Help in the house
We can show you the building skills needed for the jobs you do and power tool use (if we trust you!). I even teach some sensible Workawayers to use the tractor.
If you are interested in playing music then we have lots of instruments. I can teach you basic guitar and banjo. We can also introduced you to the local musicians and even get you gigs.
We are gradually learning Portuguese, Julia is teaching us.
Everyone goes to the market at least once which is fun and a bit scary. Those old Portuguese ladies drive a hard bargain!
We regularly take workaways to local festas and concerts.
On Sundays we often take our little motorboat out to explore the huge local lakes.
I will need loads of help to get the place in order.
I am looking help restoring the buildings, gardening, weeding, planting and farming (perma culture)
English (Portuguese, German, Spanish)
Its a big house with bedrooms and dorm rooms.
There is lots space to camp and/or park a camper van.
The nearest town Sertã is 5 minutes away by car or a 40 min walk. It has 3 big supermarkets, cinema, bus station and many restaurants. They also have regular little events which can be fun.
There is a beautiful river 10 mins walk through the wilderness from the farm and a lovely secluded lake down the valley through the forest.
There is also a massive lake with a beach and cafe 25 mins drive away, where you can swim/boat/waterski etc.
The nearest bar is only 400m away at the end of the drive, it's got a pool table and table football.
The farm is very quiet so besides watching the birds you have to make your own entertainment. We have instruments, games and a selection of films and books if the peaceful nature gets too much.
Sertã is well connected to Coimbra, Tomar, Castelo Branco, Porto and Lisbon by buses (Rede Express or Transdev), I will collect you from Serta bus station.
Limited internet access
We have pets
We are smokers
More than two
No more than 25 hours per week. Don't mind if Workaways take time/weekends off to go explore Portugal
These are extra optional ratings when members leave feedback. The average rating left for each option is displayed.
Accuracy of profile: