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Rula and I spent 10 years working for the Red Cross in the Middle East, Eastern Europe, Asia and Africa. Our boy is now 4 years old and happy to help in any gardening task. We are currently taking a break from the humanitarian work and embracing nature on our small farm in Ponte de Lima. For the last year we have been working on many projects, mostly in the garden and forest. Help is welcome :-)
Help with Eco Projects
DIY and building projects
Babysitting and creative play
Creating/ Cooking family meals
Help around the house
During the last 10 years we lived in 3 different continents and experienced different cultures. Between us we speak 7 languages fluently and like to cook different dishes and share meals.
Mario has an engineering background with computer networks and telecommunications and is currently playing with sensors and microcontrollers, designing and building irrigation systems and automated chicken coops. He has experience in off-grid systems and construction. For the technical activities Mario will provide all the information for volunteers interested in the diy/maker scene.
Rula is an agronomist and loves board games. She will introduce you to Syrian food.
Filipe likes singing, dancing, playing with sticks and is learning the guitar. He speaks Portuguese and understands Spanish and English.
Jesse is a young Labrador retriever who prefers jumping on the kayak to swimming in the cold water and is always ready to play. He also takes care of all animals in the farm.
This project could involve children. For more information see our guidelines and tips here.
Looking for volunteers with good physical condition, able to carry loaded wheelbarrows and moving rocks for example.
Wood splitting, electrical, construction skills or carpentry experience is highly appreciated.
We also accept someone with child care experience to spend some time of our 4 year old son and take care of the house.
Here are some tasks we always need help with:
- Clearing brush
- Cutting old trees and firewood
- a lot of digging and moving dirt
- Fixing stone walls
- Shopping, cooking and cleaning the house
- Taking care of the vegetable garden and feeding animals (chicken, goats, ducks, pigs, dog, cats)
In 2020 we finished a few projects:
- Building an outdoor kitchen area with wood-fired oven. We're now having sourdough bread and roasted meals all the time!
- building bunk beds for the new volunteer accommodation (in the old mill)
- Building a garden shed to store firewood, tools, kayaks and bikes
- Installing outdoor lighting and cameras
Projects for 2021
- Building a tiny house using reclaimed materials
- transform a shipping container into a comfortable guest room/studio: ALMOST DONE,
- Building a platform for a tent in the forest - DONE
- preparing new vegetable garden
- building composting toilet
- Building a new chicken coop - DONE, needs painting
- building new wood shed
- Putting up fences and building stone walls
- Rebuilding an old stone dam that used to divert part of the stream to the mill (postponed for August 2021)
- Rebuilding water wheel and mill mechanisms (once we find someone who can actually do it)
- testing diy hydro generators
Private bedroom with two single beds, shared bathroom. You can also camp in our tent in a private area of our garden. We provide three meals if you work 5 hours a day.
You should bring working shoes and clothes. We provide gloves and gum boots if needed.
Laundry is done once a week.
Our farm is mostly woodland and is a 4 minute drive or 20 minute walk from the historical town of Ponte de Lima where you can find many facilities, including library, big supermarkets and a lot of restaurants and cafes and a canoeing club.
You can swim in the river that runs just in front of the house (it's a clean mountain river, quite cold though). A kayak is available too.
Twice a month there is a huge open air market in Ponte de Lima.
During the summer there are music festivals in Paredes de Coura and other nearby towns.
We are 1 hour drive away from Porto. There are regular bus connections to the airport and to Viana do Castelo, Porto, Braga.
One bicycle is available for guests. On days off, we sometimes go hiking, rock climbing, canoeing, mountain biking or canyoning around the area. If you have experience and insurance you are welcome to join!
High speed fiber internet is now available.
We prefer vegetarian meals, but do eat meat or fish often and raise free range chicken for eggs.
Smoking is not allowed inside and near the house . Wine or beer is ok in moderation.
Limited internet access
We have pets
We are smokers
Can host families
There is unlimited fiber connection with 50Mbps.
We can provide a nice parking spot with electricity, access to a water tap and Wi-Fi !
5 hours a day (max 25 hours/week)
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