Ola! After having being volunteers while searching for land we are now proud hosts!
We are a family farm and permaculture project up on the western slopes of the Serra da Estrela mountain range in central Portugal. We are Sara and Emil, italian-swedish couple in our mid thirties. We bought the Quinta (farm in Portuguese) 6 years ago and so far we've made ourselves cozy - transforming an existing stable into our small but comfortable home, planted trees, got some animals, had a baby (Emma, who's now 5), started other millions projects on the land - simply enjoying the good life!
Permaculture is our biggest inspiration and it saturates everything we do here. We don't just want to live a sustainable life but we believe in going beyond sustainability towards abundance!
We'd like to be an example and inspiration to other people - we want to LEARN and demonstrate eco-construction, gardening, farming, animal care, alternative energy, woodland management, water management etc. etc. The list is long and we are COMPLETE beginners in everything we've taken on here - learning as we go and a lot by the "trial and error" -method! =)
It's time to heal the planet - and ourselves. It is time to BE the change!
We are completely off-grid: our electricity comes from the sun, the water from the mountain springs and streams, the veggies from the garden, the fire from our woods - and although we're far from self-sufficient yet - that's our aim.
We enjoy working hard as much as taking our time and chilling out. We'd like to invite people who are motivated, independent, creative, honest and eager to learn. We are humble people willing to learn from you too.
DIY and building projects
Babysitting and creative play
Creating/ Cooking family meals
Help with Eco Projects
This project could involve children. For more information see our guidelines and tips here.
You'll be asked to help take care of the animals (chickens, ducks, geese, pigs... cat and dogs), work in the garden, babysitting, plumbing, upgrading your own camp ....you name it! You really gotta become Jack of all trades living this life and that's part of the fun! If you've got any special interests like building biogas digesters or wood carving, stone rolling or whatever...speak out!.
We never work on a precise schedule. We'll give ourselves and yourself the freedom to decide daily what needs to be done... Of course it has to be a good deal for everyone and if it doesn't feel fair we need to learn to talk and listen.
We have a caravan available for volunteers and lots of space if you want to pitch a tent, with toilets and a common kitchen.
We offer lunch and dinner but we ask to please provide your own breakfast.
From december to march life gets a bit tougher here! We are working on a different system to warm up our water during winter, which means the solar shower is for now outdoor and warm only in sunny days...for the rest of the days the very refreshing river will be the best option=)
Please consider to minimize the use of any electric device since our basic solar system gets weaker during prolonged cloudy days.
We are 10 minutes driving off road (30min walking...fast!) to the nearest village with a (few) cafe(s) and a little grocery shop and free (faster than our) internet - and about 30 minutes to the bigger towns with whatever else you need. We usually go shopping in one of the bigger towns every week or so - if you don't have your own means of transport you'll be depending on our timing.
We're mostly surrounded by wilderness - good for those who enjoy walking and exploring. One of the villages close by has a beautiful castle well worth visiting. We are also surrounded by a beautiful community of people so things never gets boring around here, with regular big lunches and gatherings.
Long term volunteers are very welcome!
Also we'd ask you not to bring and use any chemicals (shampoos etc) in our grey water - natural home made soap (good for body and hair) can be bought for a small price from us, or we could even show you how to make your own!
Also we don't really believe in insurance so if this is important to you please manage yourself.
Limited internet access
We have pets
We are smokers
Can host families
More than two
About 5 hours a day (max 25 hours)