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This is an old abandoned farm up in the mountains of Monchique which I (Roi) had bought about two years ago. I am now starting to live here and slowly attempting to revive it according to the principles of natural farming. I have 15 mother goats and 11 kids which clear the forest daily, prevent fires and provide glorious milk from which I make cheese and yoghurt. My goats get an amazing life and this is the most important thing for me. They live in the forest and spend most of their time munching on bushes and trees. I have been doing this full time for a few years in an amazing goat farm near Jerusalem, and after learning quite a bit about goats and cheese making I have decided it’s time to try to do it on my own. This is a long term project and it’s in its very first steps.
Other than that there are many trees to care for here as this is a very forested mountain area. The main fruit trees are olives, chestnuts and walnuts.
There is also a small veg garden that needs caring and watering over the summer.
Cooking / shopping
Help with Eco project
I am not Portuguese, but I can probably teach you a thing or two about Portuguese food if you're new to Portugal. Before working as a goatherd and cheese maker I used to work as a cook in many types of places. If you are interested in anything related to food we are sure to have some interesting things to share and learn. Also reading is one of my favourites, specifically history and of course philosophy, but I love all genres really. I am quite into Taoist philosophy and try to live and create with it in mind. I love learning new languages and I try to learn new things regularly. I am amongst other things, a big sinophile. I used to live in China for a few years, and I am fascinated with Chinese and east asian cultures.
There is a small herd of goats with several kids (15 mothers, 11 babies and three big males) that needs constant caring. This includes feeding, cleaning, milking and herding on the mountain side. Walking with the goats demands a fit body and good navigation skills. You will also be able to help with the cheese-making.
June-July is cheese making season. The goat kids will be weaning and they will need some extra attention, they will need to be taught how to walk and stay out eating all day. This is a perfect easy job for a volunteer who loves animals and especially animal babies :)
Also around June-July-August I plan to set up a big poly-tunnel structure that will be used as housing for animals. This job demands some construction skills but all and all its quite a simple thing to set up. After set-up there will be some interior carpentry work.
There is a veg garden that needs care and watering.
Other than that I always have some sort of building/woodworking projects (like making my kitchen nicer and more functional), so carpenters and people who like working with wood are more than welcome.
Chinese (Mandarin): Fluent
This place is still a bit wild. I live in a big yurt. We recently put a roof on an old stone structure that is in the farm and converted one of the rooms into a living space for volunteers. The room has a wood oven, a kitchen to cook in and a couple of beds for sleeping. Its dry, warm and cute. There is also a big bell tent (5m in diameter) that a volunteer or two can stay in. The bell tent has a couple of beds and a wood stove and there's plenty of firewood to burn so you can keep warm in cold weather. There is a hot shower depending on the sun. If you have your own tent or other arrangement that would be great (in summer), you can pitch it wherever you like, I have a few cute camping sites on my land. There is water from natural springs on the land, and they are great for drinking. There is a stream that crosses the land with a few small waterfalls which are fun for bathing (in the summer :). There are a also a few big stone pools for swimming. . I can make the food if you don’t feel like making it. It can be vegetarian or meat, whatever your preference is, I can do either. Sometimes I like eating out, and I will most likely invite you to join in on the fun :) I get electricity from the grid and there is great mobile internet signal here. I have a mobile wifi dongle with loads of data that we can share. Be warned: life up in the mountains can be quite rough at times. It can get chilly In the evenings and the winds often remind you that the ocean is ever so present. There is an amazing view of the coast of the Algarve to meditate with after a hard day’s work.
I live alone, and there aren’t many people around (though I have some very lovely neighbours). I love meeting new people and getting to know new faces and I also like my own time and space mainly for reading and learning which is something I often do when I don’t work. If you are coming alone you should be someone who knows how to spend time by himself. Monchique is a beautiful mountain to explore while you are here and you can go on all kinds of hikes around. I have a car and I can pick you up from the village of Monchique When you arrive. I can take you into town when you feel like it or take you for a drive around the mountains and meet friends, which is always fun. In the summer I often go to the beach. There are loads of beaches around where I live (the western and southern beaches of the Algarve), and you can always join in for the ride.
Limited internet access
We have pets
We are smokers
Can host families
More than two
4-5 hours a day, 5 days a week (but I'm quite flexible :)
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