Upcoming projects: Olive tree pruning - shredding smaller branches for mulch - cutting bigger ones into firewood / Planting more trees and bushes / Weeding / Making swales to stop soil erosion / Installing walking paths
We are an English-German couple in their 40s, who bought a remote off-the -grid farm near Serpa in the Guadiana Natural Park a few years ago with the aim of transforming it into a self-sufficient permaculture home with focus on re-greening, soil rebuilding, wild bird, reptile and insect life.
We have no children. Sharing this beautiful place with us are so far some chickens, wild birds, insects, reptiles and plenty of bees from a local bee keeper. We have started creating natural meadows again, encouraging wild flowers and the wild birds, insects and especially the bees seem to approve. The Natural Park we live in is a heaven for wild birds and we try to increase their numbers by revitalising the land.
Cooking / shopping
Help with Eco project
Help in the house
We speak German, English, Swedish, a bit of Spanish and learning Portuguese. We are integrated in the local farming community and situated in a lovely Natural Park with interesting hikes and flora and fauna to explore. This is a heaven for bird watchers! We are new to the permaculture family but have done a few courses, read plenty, got on with it and have already amazing results to show, we are on the right track! We are happy to share the little we know and also happy to benefit from your knowledge and experiences.
Restoring an overgrazed and abused farm and developing it into a permaculture haven. We have so many projects, that it would blow this space! Just a few: brain storming ideas and experiences from around the world, rain - and well water management, preparing for the big planting sessions in autumn and spring, general gardening, firewood gathering, olive tree pruning, olive harvest in winter, dry stone walling, well wall repair....
One room with twin beds, which can also be a big double and one with a double bed. And soon to be finished a mozzie proof outside sleeping area. Shared toilet, shower and kitchen for the whole house. We cook on wood, gas, with the sun and sometimes on wood in our outdoor oven, have only solar power and our water comes from our wells. The accomodation is in the main house with us - like visiting family members or friends. Participation and communication are the key and we have to 'click' for it to work. We therefore do not commit beforehand to any long-term stays.
The farm is completely off the grid. Water and energy saving are therefore absolutely essential. We are long term sailors and travellers and used to this way of living and happy to advise you.
If you need it, please bring your own internet!
If you suffer from EMS, we are your destination. The level of radiation is very, very low and we have friends, who come here to relax and recharge away from electrosmog.
We provide three meals a day. If you are a ‘grazer’ and rely on a constant flow of snacks in between, please bring your own supply. We do NOT cater for special food needs as we are too far from the shops and Portugal is a meat, bread and cheese country! We eat a lot of veggies and fruit (already from our own garden!) but also occasionally also meat and fish, locally sourced. I have to say this as we had bad experiences with very picky gluten intolerant vegans and simply can't afford to provide a diet based on gluten free food and nuts, just as an example. Please do not come here trying to adjust to our food for the duration if you are normally a strict vegan or vegetarian.
Our house and farm are strictly non-smoking. We are far away from services and no fire engine would be here in time. In the hot and dry months Alentejo and in fact the whole South of Portugal are very dry and easily set alight by rubbish, human stupidity and carelessness.
We have a working relationship wit a local organic bee keeper. There are about ten hives on our land. If you are allergic to bee stings please remember to bring your EpiPen.
We are in the middle of the triangle of airports Lisbon, Faro and Sevilla. We'd prefer you having your own transport but will, of course, pick up in either Portugal: Serpa, Mertóla and Beja or in Spain: Paymogo, if needed. On free days or in your free time you can hike, bird watch, go and explore the biggest waterfall in Southern Europe - Pulo do Lobo or if one of us goes to town, we can drop you off in the two historic market towns of Serpa or Mertóla. We also still exploring the area ourselves and you are welcome to join us when we go somewhere. And sometimes we go out in our sailing boat down at the Spanish coast or take our kajaks on the lakes or rivers.
We have a 'take one - leave one' bookshelf in German and English, an extensive selection of our own books, you are welcome to borrow during your stay. There is no TV. We love any type of games, are keen Scrabble players and have a selection of quite some fun board and card games. There is also a dart board and James is very competitive...
Jana enjoys yoga and would love some company with that. And we have a small swimming pool.
When you have reached this line we would love to hear from you and ask you kindly to start your message with a funny personalised greeting to our three chickens, Tikka, Nugget and Piri. Why? We are sick and tired of copy and paste messages from people without the courtesy to read our profile.
Limited internet access
We have pets
We are smokers
Can host families
4-5 hours a day, 5 days a week, flexible on how and when
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