Goats at 1000m in the Serra De Estrella mountains. Stay on top of the world and help bring this farm back to life, Portugal



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 Min stay requested: at least 2 weeks

  • Description


    Help needed right now with building, goat care, gardening, clearing and fencing. We have lots of baby goats, and are milking every day and making cheese every two or three days, if you stay long enough, we can teach you a bit about cheese making.

    We ideally would like two volunteers, a couple, a family or two friends travelling together. Because we have two young childrens and lots of work, its easier for us to have two.

    Nestled in a shallow valley over one thousand meters up on the top of the Serra De Estrella mountains is our isolated farm. We keep a number of different animals, mainly goats which need walking on a daily basis. There are lots of tasks we need help with to bring this farm back to working capacity.

    We are a small family of three, me Emily 38, Sam 38, Connie has 3 years and our baby Bill is one. Six years ago we brought one of the abandoned "casais de Folgosinho", featured in the documentary "Ainda Ha Pastores". We feel a strong responsibility to bring this place back to life and to show it the respect it deserves.

    Me (Emily) and Sam spent 3 years travelling and volunteering here in Portugal before moving here. During our travels we have learnt a bit about permaculture principles, wild food and organic farming. In our previous lives, Sam was a sheet metal worker. We want to use all our previous experience to work towards a sustainable future for us and this beautiful place we are blessed to be living.

    This is a very special time for us as we are just starting to have a impact here, although people have lived here for over 300 years. We would want them to be able to see that we are caring for this place as they did. We welcome anyone willing to share their time and knowledge with us here, to create something beautiful.

    We had some amazing volunteers the last years and achieved a lot, we're very thankful for all the help.

  • Types of help and learning opportunities

    Types of help and learning opportunities

    Help with Eco Projects
    DIY and building projects
    Animal Care
    Farmstay help
    Babysitting and creative play
    Creating/ Cooking family meals
    Help around the house
    General Maintenance

  • UN sustainablity goals this host is trying to achieve

    UN sustainablity goals this host is trying to achieve

    UN goals
    No poverty
    Zero hunger
    Good health and well-being
    Quality education
    Gender equality
    Clean water and sanitation
    Affordable and clean energy
    Decent work and economic growth
    Industries, innovation and infrastructure
    Reduce inequality
    Sustainable cities and communities
    Responsible consumption and production
    Climate action
    Life below water
    Life on land
    Peace, justice and strong institutions
    Partnerships for the goals
  • Cultural exchange and learning opportunities

    Cultural exchange and learning opportunities

    Help us bring life back to this special place on top of the world.
    Learn new skills and techniques by helping here, and we hope to also learn new things from those who come.
    Learn a bit about making dairy products and baking.
    Enjoy the amazing view of the highest mountain here in Portugal.
    Walk for hours without seeing another person or any evidence of man.

  • Projects involving children

    Projects involving children

    This project could involve children. For more information see our guidelines and tips here.

  • Help


    We are looking for people interested in living with us, simply and as sustainably as possible.

    We need help caring for the goats, gardening, building, clearing, cooking, cheese making, and day to day stuff.

    We have 31 goats. Also ducks, 2 cats, and 2 dogs.

    Opening the very old irrigation channels, an ongoing job that requires lots of clearing and digging, however very satisfying seeing the water flow along the land.

    Gardening and transplanting trees.

    We are rebuilding the various ruins.

    We want to reforest a large area with native trees.

    Volunteering Hours - Approx 4/5 hours per day. Aprox 25 hours per week. Also help is required with daily tasks that are necessary to live here, for example picking vegetables, cooking and washing up.

    1 set free day per week. Plus around 1 day per week when we are going out (market, river beach or visiting friends etc) we expect help for just 1 or max 2 hours in the morning before we go).

    Our routine is dictated by the season and our animals.

    Goats need milking and shepherding twice a day.

    On your free days food will be provided, if you are here. We do visit the local river beach when it is too hot, local towns, villages and can take you sightseeing, to our friends farms and parties, depending on the current situation.

    Ideally minimum stay of 2 weeks, as it takes time to get to know the place, and the animals. Long term volunteers very welcome, provided we work well together.

  • Languages spoken

    English: Fluent
    Portuguese: Beginner

  • Accommodation


    We have a small house for volunteers with woodburner and double bed, that can sleep a single person, a couple or two close friends. We also have a caravan.

    Or you can bring your own tent or camper.

    Our facilities are also very basic, temporary compost toilet (a bucket), no mains electric or water, (we have a solar system and water from springs and the stream).

    We do have some internet and you can charge your phone etc.

    Also as we are pretty high up, it gets cold at night. It can also be very hot in the day, but be prepared this is on top of a mountain so it's not the super hot climate that most people think that Portugal has. We can have a fair amount of snow in the winter.

    Please bring suitable clothing and a sleepingbag, as it can be very hot in the day and cold at night, even in the summer.

    Please bring waterproof foot-ware, as even in the summer the grass is very wet in the morning up here, and we have a lot of water around.

    We provide three meals a day, we eat a normal diet. We use seasonally available fruit and veg.

    We make our own cheeses, yoghurt and meat products your welcome to see or help with this while your here.

    Breakfast with tea or coffee. If you need additional tea or coffee please provide this for yourself.

    There is a cooked meal for both lunch and dinner. Help with picking salad and preparing meals is appreciated.

    We can cater for vegetarians as we rarely eat meat. We do eat milk, cheese, eggs and (goat meat occasionally) as we keep goats. If you are vegan you may need to supplement your food, as we cannot cook extra meals.

  • What else ...

    What else ...

    You can enjoy being alone with the mountains up here, beautiful views, walks and nature. it is very quiet. It takes a 40min drive to get to any towns. The nearest village is 8km away, and are very old beautiful villages. We visit a local town around once a week, and occasional local events, you are welcome to accompany us. There is paragliding off the edge of the mountain near us, in the summer months.

    We can collect you from a nearest town, but nowhere is near to us here, so please communicate well about your arrival.

  • A little more information

    A little more information

    • Internet access

    • Limited internet access

      Limited internet access

    • We have pets

    • We are smokers

    • Can host families

  • Space for parking camper vans

    Space for parking camper vans

    This host can provide space for campervans.

  • Can possibly accept pets

    Can possibly accept pets

    Dogs welcome provided they don't chase ducks etc, and they get on with our dogs.

  • How many Workawayers can stay?

    How many Workawayers can stay?

    More than two

  • ...

    Hours expected

    4/5 hours a day (max 25 hours per week)

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Accuracy of profile: (5.0)

Cultural exchange: (4.7)

Communication: (4.7)

Host ref number: 551741172135