Hello fellow free spirits! My name is Sara (29 portuguese) and I am running a quinta (farm) and eco-community in the making together with my partner, Steffen (31 german), at the foothills of Serra da Estrela natural Park, the biggest one in Portugal and featuring also the highest mountain in the country.
Tir na Sí is the name of the project, and it's 1,5 hectares (circa 4 acres) in a beautiful valley with scattered abandoned ruins, with a stream running all year long, lots of shade in the summer, beautiful views to the mountains, close to historical villages, castles, lakes, river beaches, and the list goes on...
I'm glad I have decided early enough that I wanted to create a life for myself that inspires me rather than one that consumes me, and to escape the endless cycle of working - paying rent. I aim to create my own little world and take steps towards reducing my impact on this planet, to live a more meaninful life in harmony with the ecosystem around me and build my dream home and gardens, surrounded by other happy free people.
I am now going into my second season and I am very happy with what has already happened in the short time I have been here. A lot of people came, lived here, visited, volunteered, built, put their energy into the project and left their mark and personality in different corners of the land.
I have built my beautiful home, a 6 meter solid wall yurt. We have an outdoor community kitchen (slowly being turned into a more indoor than outdoor now with the winter arriving) with hot water in the sink, compost toilets and shower area (we have a camping shower with a pump that can be filled with hot water) community gardens, lots of animals - 3 donkeys, a dog, two cats, chickens and ducks. Not to mention the bees ( there are several bee hives at Tir na Sí).
There are lots of things that need to be done on the land, from building (mainly wood, stone or other natural materials), to collecting and chopping wood, gardening, moving the donkeys around the pasture, cleaning the donkeys stables, general farm work. There is always a big to-do list, and I try to assign the right job to the right person, but I have preference for experienced builders (especially with wood, cob, stone or other natural materials), carpenters, handy people. I also often need farm-sitters as I need to be away from time to time, either with work or leisure, so that also means I have preference for long-term volunteers, but open to anything from one week onwards :)
Help with Eco project
My big goal for this year is to keep the energies positive and high in this beautiful piece of land, raise the vibration on this point of the earth, and attract beautiful people here. I hope this will be a place where you can have many new experiences, meet new people, and leave with lots of stories to tell.
Since I am portuguese, I can share my knowledge of the country and language, which might be helpful in your travels through Portugal. Other interests I have that you could expect to hear me talk about: foraging, permaculture and gardening, mushrooms (yes, mushrooms!), animals, Ireland (my home for 4 years), everything irish, including the harp (I play, or try to), druidism and nature spirituality, plant medicine, the universe, the moon, the meaning of life, etc! I am a very specific person, that collected specific experiences in this life, hopefully with one or two things to share with the next person :)
I can also advice nice places to visit in the area.
The main jobs right now are as follow:
Feeding and taking care of the animals
General farm and land work (maintaining terrace walls, digging the levada - irrigation system that consists of a ditch to divert water from the river with a dam)
Lots of building (mainly wood) for the right volunteer :)
Accommodation may vary throughout the year, and will be discussed before arrival. Depending on the weather and on the availability, could either be a tent, a caravan, or a campervan.
4 hours a day, 5 days a week.
Nearest village is 1,5 km away
Limited internet access
We have pets
We are smokers
Can host families
Maximum 4h, 5 days a week