Who are we?
We are Karo and Ben from Germany / USA. We are both in love with the idea of living a sustainable life in close alignment to nature. We want to create a home for us, our 1-year-old daughter Juniper, our friends, family and guests and whomever we will cross paths with and connect on a deeper level. We don't know exactly where this project takes us but the journey so far was and is the best thing that could have happened to us. It is an empowering and humbling experience that never ceases to surprise us, teach us and lead us forward on what feels like a magical path.
The land and our ideas (so far):
We are here now for 4 years and it still feels like the beginning sometimes, so much great stuff going on. There's still a lot to explore here, the land is varied, and so is the kind of work we'll do: Gardening, planting, pruning, clearing, landscaping, off-grid tech, carpentry, animal care, construction, and more - see below for all our current projects for winter and spring.
This piece of land is an old Portuguese farm that we are gradually restoring and turning into a retreat and healing space, for both the land itself and the people taking care of it or spending time there. We want to build, farm, and be self-sufficient as much as possible. We want to learn from the work we do and hopefully from you and your experiences. It is a labor of love, we are not trying to make a profit, just live a healthy and happy life in a quiet and peaceful place with lots of sun and clean air and clean free water.
The land is varied in topography and has diverse vegetation. The olive orchard has some really old trees. There are also remnants of a vineyard, orange and fig trees in need of pruning. There are beautiful terraces with dry-stone-walls up to two meters, overgrown with ferns, brambles, young oaks and wild fruit trees. Old agricultural wells dot the land, and a mixed forest of mostly oak, pine, mimosa and eucalyptus stretches over about a third of the land. The land consists of a valley and two ridges. The valley collects enough water to form a small stream in the winter and early spring.
The many granite boulders and rock outcrops make this land unsuitable for large-scale farming, but ideal for the creation of many small growing plots with microclimates, sun traps, as well as relaxation zones, tree houses and many other cool projects.
Over time we’d like this to be a permaculture experiment with a thriving orchard and vegetable garden, medicinal herbs, greenhouses, cisterns, irrigation systems, bees, animals and more. Habitation for friends, family, guests, and volunteers will include renovated stone-buildings, treehouses, and other structures.
Some things that are important for us:
- We only have one car, so we can not provide any spare car for trips in the surrounding area and we can not commit to go with you on trips. You can go for walks in the area but any kind of shop / restaurant / bar is not in walking distance. Therefore it is essential for us, that you are mobile with your own vehicle.
- We don't expect any specific skills from you and we won't make you do anything you don't want to do. What is important for us is an openness for new experiences and that you let us know, if it is not already in your profile, what you enjoy doing and what your skills are, and what you are interested in getting out of this experience.
- We host you initially for 1-2 weeks, to get to know you and if we all get on well, we are open to extending your stay with us, if you are open to it as well. It just has to work well between us all, and we will all know if that is the case, if the vibe is right. :)
Help with Eco Projects
DIY and building projects
Babysitting and creative play
Creating/ Cooking family meals
Help around the house
Help with Computers/ Internet
There is loads to learn and explore, both about what we're doing on the land, and also in the nearby villages, with and among the Portuguese and other expats. In the last years a very nice community of people formed in the area supporting and inspiring each other.
We have a wide range of activities and types of work here, and we would enjoy doing this together with you, and also enjoy time together cooking, eating, and exchanging ideas and stories.
Current plans winter 2021 / spring 2022:
- pruning trees esp. the olive orchard
- land and forestry maintenance
- vineyard maintenance
- preparing beds for spring
- tree planting
- landscaping the garden, making stairs and terraces
- building a second goat shelter
- building little bridges, stairs and railings
- carpentry work in and around the house and barn
- off-grid infrastructure projects related to water and solar energy
- building a greenhouse
The work we do is dependent on the weather and month and also you and what you are passionate about. We can talk and probably accommodate your preferences, since we have such a wide variety of work that needs to be done. We prefer if you get into work that you enjoy, and from which you also getting a lot of satisfaction and learn what interests you. The land is so varied and diverse, with so much different vegetation, the possibilities are endless.
This host offers a language exchange
Between us here we speak German and English fluently, our Portuguese is getting better now, and we speak a little French as well. We're happy to learn from you and also help you learn...
At the moment we can only host people who can bring their own caravan for sleeping. We can provide electrical hookups and of course warm showers and access to our kitchen for certain hours of the day.
There are some lovely, quaint old villages nearby. Also some lakes and rivers for swimming and fishing. Backroads with amazing views over the rolling hills and old roman bridges and ruins. Spain is only 30 minutes away. Boom festival grounds are very close by as well.
Limited internet access
We have pets
We are smokers
Can host families
We have a stable internet connection you can use, and also find ourselves in a sort of co-working space here inside in the winter, or outside on the deck, or under a big cork oak tree.
We very much welcome people bringing their own vehicles, and we can provide electrical hookups as well. Even if you bring your own campervan, you can still use our facilities here, warm showers, kitchen, etc..
about 4-5 hours a day, 5 days a week