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Laura and Andrew own a small farm in Central Portugal. We are committed Christians. We aim to become as self-sufficient as possible on our land, producing wood for fuel, vegetables and fruit for food and wine and keeping some livestock for meat and compostable waste. We have been here four years and there is a lot more we would like to do!
Cooking / shopping
Help in the house
Travelers will learn how agriculture was carried out a generation ago as this part of Portugal is both very rural and relatively poor, so that things have not been modernised as in other places. The local Portuguese and indeed the expat community are friendly and welcoming so an insight into Portuguese culture can be gained. There are many local public festivals and celebrations that can be visited. Laura is Canadian and Andrew is from the UK so we have insight into both of those cultures as well.
Andrew's next project will be to divert the grey water waste from the house and create a filter bed and grow beds for vegetables.
Throughout the year, volunteers are needed to help with all the tasks necessary to maintain the gardens, vegetable plots, animals and the woodland areas. We also can always use help with cleaning the house and we love it when volunteers can cook us their favourite meals.
During the summer and Autumn (May to November), we rent out the top part of our house and live in the basement flat. Workawayers during this time will have their own room but will share all other areas with us. When we are living in the main house (November to May), workawayers will be offered our spare room on the top floor, again sharing all other living spaces with us.
We are avid omnivores who love to eat good food and lots of it! We generally eat two large meals a day (breakfast and lunch) and generally have a modest snack in the evening (i.e. crisps, nuts, cheese and crackers, leftovers,etc). The main meal of the day is lunch with everyone in the house eating together to discuss the days work and get to know one another better. Volunteers should expect to help out in some way with either the preparation or clean-up of the meals in addition to their allotted daily tasks elsewhere on the quinta. Breakfast usually consists of toast or muesli, porridge, yogurt or scones. On special occasions we make pancakes! We will do our best to accommodate requests for food outside of our normal eating patterns within reason. Volunteers are expected to purchase their own "treats" such as cigarettes, alcohol, chocolate, etc.
Volunteers could take advantage of the many walking and cycle trails in the area. Anyone with an interest in wildlife would be delighted with the range of flora and fauna here. There are river beaches for swimming and relaxation, the highest mountains in the mainland of Portugal, the Serra Estrela, are quite close, and it is not far to visit cities like Coimbra and Viseu which offer much of interest to visitors. Bus and train links between major centres are good and quite cheap.
Limited internet access
We have pets
We are smokers
Can host families
5 hours a day, 5 days a week
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