Join us on an off grid farm, permaculture project and retreat space in Alto Alentejo, Portugal




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 Min stay requested: at least a week

  • Description



    We are building a timber framed community house and kitchen with light straw clay walls and natural plasters. Looking for volunteers to help with the build. Good opportunity to learn about natural building techniques.

    We are an off grid farm and community hidden in the hills of Alto Alentejo, Portugal. Sitting sheltered in a magical valley in São Mamede Natural Park, the land covers 25 acres of a diverse wildlife sanctuary - including otters, turtles, egyptian mongoose, will boar, 4 types of eagle, vultures, fire salamanders, a variety of birds particular to the natural park. We have around 500 olive trees, so in November and January we harvest and press the oil. We are very much in to permaculture principles and hold permaculture design courses on the land and are creating an ever evolving food forest. So there is plenty to gather from wild foraging. Around the land we have figs, loquats, persimmons, oranges, lemons, pomegranate, apricots, peaches, blueberries, raspberries/blackberries, cherries, apples, pears and a variety of nut trees. We keep a large organic vegetable and herb garden. The land is a wonder of glittering quartz, huge granites, ancient cork oak trees casting their shadows on old stone walls. There is a km of river coming through the land for swimming and cooling off, which is guided through the land with various irrigation systems. The area feels untouched as if time stood still. We have no doubt that you will fall in love with it as we did ourselves.

    The farm is worked organically and with a respect for the land, landscape and its history. We have kept the place completely off grid: no mains power, no mains water and we deal with our own waste. Water comes from two natural springs on the land and our energy is produced by hydroelectricity from a turbine in the Mill, a wind turbine, and plenty of solar power from the sun.

    The core community consists of 5 people with many others coming and going to lend their skills and get involved. My name's Ben and i'm originally from the UK. I work as an osteopath and acupuncturist and co create and host well being retreats here on the land. For example yoga, breath work, meditation, natural building courses, permaculture design courses and rock climbing. For me this place is for getting back to the basics and the simple joys of being immersed in nature and growing more and more towards self sustainability.

    We have a range of secluded lodgings such as two wooden cabins on the river, two stone houses, a mill, bell tent, tipi and two nicely converted vans for you to stay in.

    Living with us on the farm are two donkeys, Jericho and Peroli, nine hens and a rooster, a pig and one puppy called Maya and Tejo the cat.

  • Type of help

    Type of help

    General Maintenance
    Cooking / shopping
    Help with Eco project
    Help in the house
    Animal care
    Art project
    Help with Computers / internet

  • Cultural exchange and learning opportunities

    Cultural exchange and learning opportunities

    Learn about off grid living, self sustainability, hydroelectricity, permaculture, food forests, gardening, farming, animal care, dry wall building, water irrigation systems, growing your own food, turning produce from the land in to delicious clean food and preserves. Learn about the process of collecting Olives, preserving them or pressing them for oil. Play music together, cook together, share knowledge and stories.

  • Help


    We are open for help here in many areas, from gardening and forest clearing, preparing and preserving produce from the land, handyman/handywoman - any jack of all trades, working the veggie garden, composting, building naturally with stone, carpenters or people used to woodwork- upcycling furniture, ram pump enthusiasts and irrigation, painting and decorating, art projects and installations, clearing and cleaning, builders to convert old ruins, healthy cooking for the community, animal care. We have many projects on the go and like for you to follow your excitement when you are here.

  • Languages spoken

    English: Fluent
    Spanish: Beginner

  • Accommodation


    We have a tree house style wooden cabin on the river. It can host 2 people in one king size bed. Or you alone. It is very cosy and each night you can fall asleep to the sound of the river. With a compost loo, kitchen and solar shower.

    We have a bigger wooden cabin by the river, perfect if you are travelling with friends and want to stay all together. It can house 4 people. With compost loo, kitchen and solar shower.

    There is a stone cottage up a hill with beautiful views over the natural park, it has a double bed and two singles. Compost loo, kitchen and solar shower and solar/wind electricity.

    There is a beautiful converted van which is parked in the olive grove and has its own solar-system, kitchen and shower.

    You are also welcome to come and pitch your tent up somewhere on the land and we have a 4 man bell tent with stove you can use.

    There is also a guest room in the main house.

    We offer shared vegetarian breakfast, lunch and dinners including a lot of produce from the land and vegetable garden, olive oil, olives, eggs, honey, preserves and ferments. All accommodations have their own kitchens if you wanted to be independent for some of the meals. We have wood fire pizza nights one a week.
    We don't eat meat and don't mind if you do but the meals cooked will be vegetarian.

  • What else ...

    What else ...

    Horse riding in the natural park with our neighbours. Rest in nature. Visit Marvao, an ancient fortress near by - on Fridays at the Natural Bar they play live acoustic music. Explore the area and its many castles and festivals, river swimming, rock climbing, explore old smuggling paths over the mountains to Spain and hike roman pathways.

    There is a bus from Lisbon straight to our local village Santo Antonio das Areias (40minutes walk on a beautiful trail). We can share the car to pick up any supplies or pick you up from the bus stop. All the venues are very secluded so you can take your own space whenever you like.

  • 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

  • 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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Accuracy of profile: (5.0)

Cultural exchange: (5.0)

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Host ref number: 677592642686