Quinta is a traditional goat, sheep and cow farm in the heart of Serra da Malcata, in an almost desertified area of the center of Portugal. Farm with animals, trees, vegetables, forest and houses to restore.
Minimum time of stay: 20 days.
Working schedule: 5 to 7 hours per day, 2 free days in each 7 days.
Please read ALL THE PROFILE to be completely informed of what are the conditions of volunteering in Quinta . Especialy, keep in mind the following:
Quinta is a very ancient farm. It's a farm, in it's true meaning, not a house with a garden or little field with crops. Beeing an ancient farm, it has very basic acomodation. The houses are from the 15th century or older, so they are cold in winter, of course. If you come in a rainy day, as in all rainy days, the farm work must go on and some of the tasks cannot be delayed. Also keep in mind that it's not possibly to make a specific food for you if you have a very diferent diet from "most" people. We always have vegetable soop, so if you're vegetarian you're welcome to come, but if the rest of the team is having meat, with plain rice you can have soop with rice, but not a specific dish just for you, unless you provide it. At last, keep in mind that the farm is completely ISOLATED. This means is 12 km from the nearest village! You can walk in or out of the farm as you want, but the farm only provides car rides to volunteers in the previously agreed days of arrival and departure. All other rides must be on agreement. Having this in mind, and to avoid further problems with desonest volunteers who do not read the profile fully, please read the full extent of it, including REFERENCES and, in case you want, make a hosting request or ask anything if you have doubts. We can assure, this will be a true experience, wich you cannot find in many places!
We're Fernando, Marta, Daniel and Duarte, managing a very rural farm in the heart of Serra da Malcata.
The main produce of this 74 hectare farm, is goat keeping, but we've also several other animals, like pigs, chickens, turkeys, gooses, ducks, dogs, cats and so on. Also olives and some vegetables.
We provide simple accommodation in a rustic medieval house and plenty of space for camping and three meals daily. The farm is located within the Natural Reserve of Serra da Malcata in Penamacor, Castelo Branco, completely isolated. The main goal is to work with a view to the welfare of our animals and our family, trying to the maximum self-sufficiency. We have Charnequeira goats (autochthonous breed from the region) living in free grazing, Jarmelista cows and Churra do Campo sheep organic garden, Bizaros pigs and two Rafeiro do Alentejo dogs. All volunteers may have the opportunity to participate in the handling of animals, including milking the goats, for example.
We offer you the opportunity to join us for 3-16 weeks (may be longer) to participate in daily life on the farm. You're expectec to help in several tasks, depending on what is available at the moment. We are restoring some of the stone houses, in several states of condition. Some, almost from the ground, others just repairing the roof. All will be made with traditional techniques. There is also some vegetable production in which you can help, and in November/December you can help in olive picking and olive oil production. Some days you may help with the goats also. As we are often busy with other work please be prepared to sometimes be working alone, if we have no other volunteers here. If you would like to come with friends, we can accommodate several volunteers, depending on conditions. There are always things to be done, so you're welcome anytime and also for long periods.
We need to make a new fence for the animals. This is priority number 1.
We're now restoring some old country traditional houses maid of stone (schist) and using traditional materials and techniques. This is priority number 2.
In the freetime you can enjoy the river, bathing in pure water!
There are 2 rooms available in 500 years plus small typical stone country house, restored according to the original conditions. We can also dispose fold away beds. More places can be arranged, if you're not too demanding in luxury! There's also lots of space for camping and you can bring a caravan too.
Read what Caroline Girard, one volunteer who stayed here, states about the farm. This may help you to understand how the farm really is:
"I stayed 2 weeks at Quinta . Don't expect hot showers everyday, be prepared to climb up the hill to get some signal for your phone or to reduce your electricity consumption. Keep in mind that you will get dirty as you work on a farm and yes, sometimes it does rain and you have to go out with the goats and you will probably end up dirty AND wet. So bring good rubber booths and a raining coat!
If you keep all this in mind and come willing to step back in time then you will definitely have a great time at the farm. Fernando and Marta take good care of the volunteers, they have a great sense of humour and you can talk about a lot of different topics with them. The tasks were diverse as well (pruning the olive trees, walking with the goats, preparing sausages,...).
The food was really nice as well, you will learn that you don't need fancy pots or fancy cooking accessories to prepare great dishes!
During you free days you can sit down, read a book and enjoy being far from our buzzing "civilization" or hike in the surrounding mountains...
In a nutshell: highly recommendable experience, don't forget to come with an open-mind and ready to question your comfort standard and you will enjoy your stay at the farm. I am sure you will learn a lot and end up questioning our world as it is! "
Step back in time and experience the simple pleasures of an almost medieval lifestyle. ;)
Tips: Be prepared with a sleeping bag, working gloves and good walking shoes, especially if rainy weather is forecasted. We do not provide internet access.
DIY and building projects
Help with Eco Projects
Help around the house
Help with Computers/ Internet
We offer you the opportunity to join us for 3-12 weeks (maybe longer) to participate in daily life on the farm. You're expectec to help in several tasks, depending on what is available at the moment. We are restoring some of the stone houses, in several states of condition. Some, almost from the ground, others just repairing the roof. All will be made with traditional techniques. There is also some vegetal production in wich you can help, and in November/December you can help in olive catching and olive oil production. Some days you may help with the goats also. As we are often busy with other work for our business please be prepared to sometimes be working alone, if we have no other volunteers here. If you would like to come with friends, we can accommodate several volunteers, depending on conditions. There are allways things to be done, so you're wellcome anytime and also for long periods.
This host offers a language exchange
This host has indicated that they are interested in sharing their own language or learning a new language.
You can contact them directly for more information.
There are 2 rooms available in 400 years plus small typical stone country house, restored according to the original conditions. We can also dispose fold away beds. More places can be arranjed, if you're not too demanding in luxury! There's also lots os space for camping and you can bring a caravan too. We've wireless internet conection for volunteer's to use, so be glad to bring you laptop.
Conveniently located within half an hour drive of dozens of historic sites, you can visit Castle of Penamacor or the Medieval Villages of Sortelha, Monsanto, Idanha-A-Velha, Belmonte, Sabugal, among others, and get a sense of the local flavor.
Step back in time and experience the simple pleasures of an almost medieval lifestyle.
Tips: Be prepared with working gloves and good walking shoes, especialy if rainy weather is forecasted.
Limited internet access
We have pets
We are smokers
Can host families
This host can provide space for campervans.
More than two
About 5 hours, on a mornig basis, 5 day a week