Permaculture and garden forest project on the land of a National Geographic photographer based in Palmela, Portugal




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    within 5 days


 Min stay requested: at least 2 weeks

  • Description


    My name is Matthieu. I have been a freelance photographer for 20 years, and an active National Geographic photographer for the last 10 years. My wife (she is German, we met in Indonesia) and I recently bought a beautiful land near Palmela, overlooking a valley called Vale dos Barris. During confinement, we improved the land with an irrigation water system (we have 2 springs), mud house, permaculture vegetable garden, pool made from an old water reservoir etc. We have olive and pomegranate trees and lots of bamboos. The land is a 10 mn drive from where we live.

    Please note:
    - right now we are only taking people in Nov/Dec 2020.
    - as it takes a couple of days to get familiarise with the project/land, it's nice to have people for a minimum of 2 weeks.

    During November and part of December 2020, we are working on the design and plantation of a forest garden on the lower part of land that comprises of 12 terraces and a couple of pond system. We are looking to host people during this period. We are planting several hundred trees to turn an empty land into a forest! So you must like physical work and be pro-active about it. So far, we have planted fruits trees, endemic species, vines etc. Now we are focusing on digging swales and planting acorns, tree cuttings, seeding etc We have a permaculture specialist, Joaquim, who help direct the project. This experience is a great opportunity to learn about food forest, Permaculture and sustainable living. Be warned that you must like physical work (we use garden hoes, wheelbarrows full of earth etc) and getting your hands muddy and please don't be shy to join in cooking, organize camp etc. Driver license would be a great add-on!

    Among other things we need to:
    - create swales and channels for planting seeds and stakes of endemic species
    - make outdoor kitchen and shower area
    - install a gravity water system from a spring

    We have 2 boys, Timo (9) and iluka (13). Both our kids are born on the road (one in Hong Kong, the other in Istanbul) and speak German, French, English and Portuguese. Our boys are home-schooled. We are a truly multicultural family, love sharing our travels (we have been to most countries in Asia) and we have been living since 2 years inside the Arrabida Nature Park, just 35mn south of Lisbon.


    More specific info on the project:
    We are implementing an agroforestry system based on the principles of syntropic agriculture (Ernst Gotsch). It will be an area where we will plant around 60 fruit trees stratified with trees and forest bushes. From plants, cuttings and seeds. Occupying from the emerging stratum to the very dense low stratum. As we are integrated in a natural park, we will implement only native and naturalized species, which is quite unique.
    In a more degraded and inclined area we will make channels following contour lines (called Swales) for direct sowing of trees and shrubs.
    We will have Joaquim, who will help direct the project. He has already implemented projects in permaculture and syntropic agriculture in the Mediterranean climate with endemic and native species. This experience will be a great opportunity to learn about syntropic agriculture in the Mediterranean context, permaculture and sustainable living.

  • Types of help and learning opportunities

    Types of help and learning opportunities

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

  • Cultural exchange and learning opportunities

    Cultural exchange and learning opportunities

    We have travel the world for the last 20 years and look forward to hearing about your life, and introduce you to the local markets, area etc. We are passionate about good food, music and world culture.

  • Help


    - help work on design and plantation of Forest garden
    - Help with occasional cooking (we love cooking!), shopping etc
    - general housekeeping and basic building

  • Languages spoken

    German: Fluent
    English: Fluent
    French: Fluent

  • Accommodation


    Depending on when you come, you will either stay with us at our home or on the land in our van (electricity, water, kitchen, all wood covered) or in a beautiful camping set-up.

  • What else ...

    What else ...

    We are inside the Arrabida Nature Park, so it's a perfect place if you like nature.
    It's an exchange: we are excited to host you , and should you come with a respectful and positive attitude to help us and take part in the activities. We are looking forward to it! :)

  • 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.

  • How many Workawayers can stay?

    How many Workawayers can stay?

    More than two

  • ...

    Hours expected

    Maximum 4-5 hours a day, 5 days a week

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Host ref number: 571756146944