Be a pionieer at this Permaculture project in Central Portugal




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 Min stay requested: at least 2 weeks

  • Description


    We have just finished constructing the Yurt platform! Now please come and help constructing the ‘Passive Solar Shower’. Come and camp (or set-up the hammock or your own) and experience an alternative, eco-style in my attempt to live more sustainable.

    This is an ‘off-the-grid’ 1,5 ha of land with many micro-climates at the foot of the Serra da Estrela, National Park, Central Portugal.

    The aim for the Permaculture project is to turn into an edible forest garden to produce botanical plants for medicinal, culinair and cosmetic natural use and thus also creating an income for a new to be eco-community. Maybe than some day this will also be an Educational and Retreat Center.

    It has an abundance of water: a stream running through the complete property, which has small and larger plunge pools, several waterfalls, a water mine, irrigation cave, solid granite irrigation channels (levada’s), springs and other permaculture desirable features: terraces for agriculture, natural water source, plenty of sunshine per year, a forest area, many living space for creativity and community buildings and homes, fruit trees, animals, bee keeping, etc.

    A one man attempt (Jeroen, 1964) from Amsterdam the Netherlands, trying to live in a more sustainable way. I live here alone with my cat Doerak.

  • Type of help

    Type of help

    General Maintenance
    Help with Eco project
    Language practice
    Art project

  • Cultural exchange and learning opportunities

    Cultural exchange and learning opportunities

    Your help in exchange for food and shelter will gain you a life time experience in exchanging culture, skills in building green, permaculture design, farming, DIY, social interaction, communication, community living, cooking, language practice, etc. It is an adventure and you will never forget it!

  • Help


    The next step in the Permaculture Design is to closely observe this location how it dictates the need for elements to be arranged so they can create functional interconnections.

    Projects can be an outcome from Permaculture Design, building green and the edible forest garden. But there are also some ‘grey’ building and other not expected jobs and tasks going on. We are ‘off-the-grid’, so we manage our own water distribution, renewable energy sources and distribution, landscaping, fire prevention, etc.

    So there are many larger and smaller interesting projects going on all the time, all year long. If you are interested, please come and bring your humour, joy and skills!

    For this start-up stage I am looking for a strong and multi-skilled eco-volunteer who is willing to pioneer and is enthusiast and not afraid of being in a rustic place of hardly no utilities yet (off-grid), but has all the opportunity to bring his/her ideas into practice.
    Profile and skills:
    - Rustic environment: You want and can expect to be out of your comfort zone!
    - Dedicated (eco)volunteer (or have a basic knowledge of permaculture);
    - Knowledge of several communication methods, working as part of a team
    - Skilled DIY or willing to learn on the job;
    - Green builder (or interested and willing to learn)
    - Can help (vegetarian) cooking (no vegan), once a week meat or fish;
    - Non smoker, no drugs (also no marihuana), no alcohol (Please ask me why and I can explain if this is a no go for you);
    - Open- and eco minded;
    - Big sense of humour ;)
    - Flexible (I do not always know the next step in building...);
    - Creative in re-using and coming up with solutions;
    - Harmonious environment: here is NO place for dominant, ego-centred, narcissi, or sarcastic characters.

  • Languages spoken

    Languages spoken

    Dutch, English, German, Spanish (beginner), Portuguese (beginner).

  • Accommodation


    You can camp on dedicated areas on the property. We have permanently a summer tent and a professional outdoor (winter) hammock available for you incl. sleeping necessities, mosquito net and rain tarp.

    In the near future there will be a Yurt and/or dormitory (the platform has been constructed (July 2019)).

    It is inclusive three meals a day and non-alcohol drinks, generally vegetarian. Once a week we can have fish or meat. Fresh and bedrock clean/clear stream water all day long!

    Toilet and shower: At the current moment we are constructing the Passive Solar Shower. This will also accommodate a warm water wood burner shower. Meantime we use passive solar with a garden hose. Stockholm.

    Breakfast and hot espresso coffee or herbal tea at 07:30 each day. We start normally around 09:00 and work 5 hours more or less excluded a lunch break. Your two days off are preferably in the weekends so that we can work together during week days. We cook together or rotate.
    Also I'd ask you not to bring and use any chemicals (tooth paste, deo, shampoos etc) in my grey water. I make my own natural home made toothpaste, deodorant, body lotion and soap. It all can be bought for a small price from me, or I could show you how to make your own.

  • What else ...

    What else ...

    Social activities:
    Once a week we have pizza-evening and a few times a week movie-night or we go for a swim. I often also visit local markets and/or do some sightseeing myself; You can join me on your days off or after 'working hours'.

    Cafe, bar and a small supermarket are all a 5 minute walk in the nearest village. Halfway there is a large pool from the Fire Brigade in which you can swim. At the village there is a football field, but needs some TLC. A hospital is 10 minutes away and numerous shops, bars, cafe’s, restaurants, markets, supermarkets, swimming pools, banks, doctors, library etc. are all in the nearest town, 15 minutes away by car. Local handicrafts including handmade cheese and wool blankets.

    Local attractions
    Serra da Estrela Natural Park – 101 thousand hectares of protected area (the largest in Portugal) encompassing the highest point in Portugal where there is a huge diversity of flora and fauna with an ‘alpine’ landscape. There are fabulous pure lakes to swim in, hiking and cycling trails, a ski resort and museums locally. Taken from the local tourist board description: “The magnificent landscape of the mountain is the natural habitat of mammals like wolves, boars, otters, foxes, genets and wild European rabbits. They are overflown by birds such as golden eagles and common buzzards, peregrine falcons, Eurasian eagle-owls and black kites.”

    Location of property
    Rural village location in the mountains in the Serra da Estrela Natural Park.

    Nearest main bus station is Seia (15 minutes away). I will pick you up by car at Seia.

    Safety, insurance: You need to have your own travelling insurance covering health care and injuries. It is at your own risk. For working in the field you need long trousures, closed boots (wellies are great!) that also support your ankles and have good grip, working gloves and a hat against the sun. A headlamp for the night (also includes red light), a summer rain coat, and some warm clothes for the chilly evening and nights are also recommended.

  • A little more information

    A little more information

    • Internet access

    • Limited internet access

      Limited internet access

    • We have pets

    • We are smokers

  • How many Workawayers can stay?

    How many Workawayers can stay?

    More than two

  • ...

    Hours expected

    5 hours a day, 5 days a week, longer stays are welcome

Wood treatment before posting as a foundation pole on the Dry Compost Toilet building.
Our self built Ram Pump.
Cherry jam making day.
Jeroen, sometimes with beard...
My 'new' rustic kitchen block built from reclaimed/re-used wood and screws.
Seed balls for green manure.

Host ref number: 442697835499