We are a retired couple living in a typical rural Algarve house, 4.7km from the town of Loule and 15min (by car) from the sea.
Pat (Irish) is a retired Limerick City fireman & Shannon River Marine Search & Rescue volunteer and Deborah (moi) American, is a retired entrepreneur, restaurateur, forest firefighter and Mountain Search & Rescue volunteer.
We are in need of of manual help during the year 2019. We prefer couples (but are open to single persons) to stay for minimum of 1 week and, if it feels right for ALL of us, for longer.
SOME of the time we'll work together on projects and sometimes not together depending on the day, work load etc. It's important for us that you understand gardening and how to use hand-tools as we are just too busy to teach and you must be able to work on your own sometimes.
We also have a small cottage business smoking Garlic and Mexican chilies and a pop-up BBQ 'supper-club' two evenings a month.
We have 1,800 english language books and lots of music from origional American blues 'n jazz, Irish traditional, Portuguese Fado, Opera, Classical. We love, LOVE cooking (and eating) and when the Weather is warm have a pop-up restuarant in our home; serving authentic Mexican, Soul Food from the South and American Cowboy food. Pat bakes Irish Soda bread and such things.
For the most part we eat what is in season and follow the UNESCO awarded Mediteranan Diet. (The Mediterranean diet involves a set of skills, knowledge, rituals, and traditions concerning crops, harvesting, fishing, animal husbandry, conservation, processing, cooking, and particularly the sharing and consumption of food. Eating together is the foundation of the cultural identity and continuity of communities throughout the Mediterranean basin. It is a moment of social exchange and communication, an affirmation and renewal of family, group or community identity.) We both read a lot, love music, hiking, a good conversation and embrace a merciless sense of humour.
We mostly need general physical labour on the land. (Our bodies are just too sore to do the work we need to do...ahhhh the Circle Of L
ife). We want to carve out of this stony Algarve soil some vegetable & flower gardens using creative water retention solutions and where we can native species.
Projects on the land, depending on the season, include: care and pruning of trees, harvesting (and preserving) Almonds, Figs and Olives, preserving, landscaping, weeding, planting, laying paths, irrigation system maintenance, creating and maintenance vegetable and flower gardens, chopping/sawing/stacking firewood, clearing land; pruning, transplanting trees & shrubs, mulching, organising compost piles, dig post holes & put up a fence, prune/harvest Olive & Almond, Figs, Carob trees, patch paint house, build a bocce court, help smoke chillies and garlic and solar harvested sea-salt smoked seasonings,
Projects on buildings include: painting, carpentry, repairs, house cleaning organizing etc. oh yes, and some help organize a logistics and fullfillment area for our Organic Smoked Garlic, Chili business and Supper-Club.
We are well located by car, (15 mins from beaches - 25 minutes from Faro airport) and close to trains and buses for trips further afield. On Saturdays we can drop you off in town or the beach, you can use UBER to take you anywhere.
Although we are in the country we are only 4.6km down the hill, from the town center. We also provide the odd lift into Loule and help with planning days off and suggestions for places to visit. We have two friendly Rhodisian Ridgeback dogs 'Betsy' Blueskies and 'Sierra Mariposa' AKA " Hoover" (yes as in the Hoover vacumn cleaner by the same name for obvious reasons) she's a teenager who loves to go on long walks in the surrounding country side. We will have a litter of puppies born around the first of June 2019.
We offer a privately located self-contained caravan nestled under an old fig tree. It's a wee bit away from our cottage so you have your own space. We offer 3-meals a day for 5-hours a day work for 5-days per week 09h00-12h00 & 14h00-16h00 (Monday-Friday) (OR so.... nothing too exact we're human after all). Weekends you're off-work to go explore the area and on weekends you cover your own own meals. We provide local foods for your own breakfast, lunch & supper. Most lunches on work days (& some suppers just depends) we will eat together. Pat goes hiking with a group on Sundays so bring boots if you'd like to join him on this.
We have 2 dogs and 2 cats. WiFi is an option in the caravan at your own cost, we have a pay-as-you-go 'dongle' that you can top up and use.
IMPORTANT: We require that you (1) bring proof of your own health insurance and (2) give us a contact number of your next relatives in case of any emergencies plus (3) a copy of your photo ID, Passport.
Helpers must have a deep an unabiding GSOH (Good Sense Of Humour) as we do!
DIY and building projects
Help around the house
Help with Computers/ Internet
This project could involve children. For more information see our guidelines and tips here.
There are SOOO many things to do and see and experience here in The Algarve of Portugal. Althought we live 'rural' we live within 5km of one of the beautiful cultural centres of the Algarve; the ancient town of Loule!
We MOSTLY need help from folks with strong backs and who know how to use 'hand' tools. We just can't (getting a wee bit old 'n sore) do the work anymore that is needed to work both the land and house.
WORK PROJECTS: Build straw-bale vegetable/flower garden beds, weed, chip Olive/Almond wood for the smokers, (we have a chipper), gather wild produce (Carob pods, Figs, Olives, Persimmons etc.,) and either smoke & dry them or process them another way such as 'canning' in jars or making jams, marmalade, chutneys, salsas), transplant shrubs (stony ground), organize and re-pack storage rooms/cupboards, general deep clean of house, PLUS refurbishing the orogional St. Catarina terra cotta floor tiles in the house, plaster, paint house and build a dog & welping kennel ( We've 2 dogs and 2 cats, a Rhodesian Ridgeback "Betsy" and her teenage girlfriend (another RR) 'Hoover', level and tamp down a Petanque (bocce) court
We offer our beautiful (beloved) self-contained caravan, 'Molly'. Molly sits about 50-meters distance from the house, (quite privately) under Fig tree. The caravan has: W/C, shower, HOB, oven, fridge/freezer, black-out curtains, mosquito screens, many reading lights, closets, 2-skylights with mosquito screens, a sliding door separates the built-in double bed from the rest of the 7-meter long touring caravan. We have attached an awning with table + chairs for alfresco dining... You cook your own breakfast and supper in the caravan. We provide ingredients for your breakfast & suppers: Monday-Friday. Lunches for the most part will be eaten with us. Weekends are your own time to travel and to make your own meals in the caravan as you like.
More about the area later; it's the Algarve after all. There are many many kilometers of walks/bike rides from our door. We can drop you off at the Loule town center or at the train station, easy peasy. A taxi from to/from town to our door is between 6-8EUR each way. Loule is market town and there is daily baked bread, fresh fish, local meat, veggie & fruit Farmers Market, and a much bigger one each Saturday. Spend a day at the beach ...why not? Perhaps take a boat tour or a weekend donkey trek or rent a car for a weekend and see the Alentejo in the North? We have only had two couples do a (private) exchange here last year for a couple of weeks. One couple left as they wanted the city lights of Lisbon, fair enough it is a bit 'slow' here. The other, 2-friends from Vermont, went on their pre-planned travels after extending their time with us an additional week. It was a very good experience for all of us.
Limited internet access
We have pets
We are smokers
Can host families
Maximum 5 hours a day, 5 days a week