Come and help rebuild a ruin, its furniture and a Fab Lab inside a farm in Barão de São João, Lagos, Portugal




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 Min stay requested: at least 3 weeks

  • Description


    We are building a Fab Lab inside a farm, check Algarve Fab Farm on Facebook or Fab Lab network. At the moment we are renovating a ruin and building a treehouse and everything that comes with it. Such as compost toilet, shower, kitchen but also the treehouse itself.

    The farm (22 hectares) is located in the western Algarve, south of Portugal, with beautiful beaches and small villages. Secluded but only a few minutes by car from the nearest village. (Barão de São João)

    The project is a mix of low and high-tech. We started it on an old long-forgotten farm and we are really building everything from scratch. I started building the infrastructure of the farm in late 2016, from roads, and lakes (rainwater collection), renovating a ruin, build the lab machines to set up a solar grid. We are mostly off the grid but we still buy gas for cooking.

    The idea is to farm with help of tech, or to tech with help of the farm :-). I want to create a space where thinkers, makers & farmers can learn, create and share technology to improve everyone's lives. The lab will serve farmers or just anybody; artists, inventors, surfers, hackers...

    We are a family of 5 with two girls and a boy. We have 4 dogs, 3 cats, and happy chickens, all living in harmony!

    So we need help in so many areas right now that you would surely fit in with what you already like to do. And if you want to explore new areas you will be welcome.

    Attention: Winter in the Algarve is mostly warm during the day but it can be cold and rainy for days and then you can have a sunny afternoon and rain again at night. The weather is a bit unpredictable but temperatures are never below 8 degrees Celsius. So bring boots, work gloves, and a raincoat.

    Food: we do not suply food.

  • Types of help and learning opportunities

    Types of help and learning opportunities

    Help with Eco Projects
    DIY and building projects
    Animal Care
    Farmstay help
    Creating/ Cooking family meals
    Help around the house
    General Maintenance
    Help with Computers/ Internet

  • UN sustainablity goals this host is trying to achieve

    UN sustainablity goals this host is trying to achieve

    UN goals
    No poverty
    Zero hunger
    Good health and well-being
    Quality education
    Gender equality
    Clean water and sanitation
    Affordable and clean energy
    Decent work and economic growth
    Industries, innovation and infrastructure
    Reduce inequality
    Sustainable cities and communities
    Responsible consumption and production
    Climate action
    Life below water
    Life on land
    Peace, justice and strong institutions
    Partnerships for the goals
  • Cultural exchange and learning opportunities

    Cultural exchange and learning opportunities

    Learn about digital fabrication as well as help build an environment that will benefit the community around us. We will explore traditional and new construction techniques. Imagine mixing adobe with 3d printing or making your own surfboard.

  • Help


    The help we need is very generic:

    - woodworking
    - mechanics work
    - programer
    - 3d design
    - architecture design
    - from setting up pumps to helping build a machine;
    - renovate the ruin with traditional methods;
    - agriculture, plant experimental and traditional crops;
    - setup our website
    - build accommodations for helpers and guests of the lab.
    - pile firewood.

    Please don't apply if you are unsure about our place or the length of your stay. Short interrupted stays disrupt the other volunteers and our routine as we put a lot of energy on each new person.

    If you are going to stay with us because you are looking for a job and need a place to stay do not apply unless you can commit here to a minimum of 2 weeks again interrupted stays disrupt our routine.

    The fab farm is not for everyone, some of our installations are simple and rudimentary, remember we are in a constant process of improving and we really started from scratch.

    At the moment the focus is the house and general infrastructure.

    Projects like making solar panels for water heating, finishing setting up the lab, or building a laser cutter are currently going on but also we have more basic stuff like planting vegetables, fruit trees, and feeding farm animals...

    I have built a milling CNC, 3d printers, and laser cutters and I intend to use these machines to assist in building all these projects, also it's my intention to document every process and release it on the internet.

  • Languages

    Languages spoken
    English: Fluent
    Spanish: Fluent
    Portuguese: Fluent
    Chinese (Mandarin): Beginner

    This host offers a language exchange
    This host has indicated that they are interested in sharing their own language or learning a new language.
    You can contact them directly for more information.

  • Accommodation


    We have a very comfy caravan and 6 meters bell tents and those with their own camper-vans are also welcome. We have a compost toilet, as well as a convenient flushing earthworm compost toilet, sink, and hot showers.

  • What else ...

    What else ...

    When volunteering with us, we would like that you observe the following notes about sleep, food, work, waste, etc...

    - What can you expect: nice views, a quiet and peaceful place, fresh vegetables from our organic garden, physical work, dirty hands, and the use of your skill.
    - Food: Occasionally we might do a BBQ or a Pizza party together, as for the other meals you need to supply your own ingredients and cook. You will be expected to rinse and wash your dishes, and to cook in rotation with others.
    - Leisure: Surf and great weather most of the year. Nice small villages. Bike and walking tracks everywhere around.
    - The work: should be 3 hours a day 5 days a week. From 9:00am to 12:00pm. You will be responsible to keep track of your own time and as we work on a trust basis, we won’t be looking over your time or tasks frequently. We will discuss tasks the day before or after breakfast. You should expect physical work - farm (hard) work, building work, as well as the works related to setting up the fabfarm.
    - Vegetable garden: We grow some vegetables and you are welcome to take from the garden what you need but currently we are not with a large variety so you need to supplement on your own other vegetables you might need.
    - Snacks: We don't supply snacks or fruits, we ask you to arrange your preferred ones at the village's shop and keep it with you.
    - Waste: We separate some of our waste so we also expect you to place food leftovers in a bowl to be fed to the farm animals.
    - Smoking: is prohibited inside the caravan and the house, also always have in mind that cigarettes can start wildfires, and especially in the summer, this is a very sensitive matter for the entire country.
    - Drugs: It’s an uncomfortable subject that must be dealt with in the beginning. We don’t judge what people do during their time in their places but we don’t allow illegal drugs on the farm and we expect all guests to understand and respect this.
    - Accommodation: Guests would stay in a caravan or a tent. The Caravan is quite new (it was my family's home for one year before I moved to the ruin) and it can fit a couple and 2 singles comfortably (in a double bed and bunk bed). So you might have to share the space with males and/or females. Smoking inside the caravan is not allowed. Keep it clean, organized, and well maintained.
    - Personal hygiene: We have an outside flushing worm compost toilet, a compost toilet, a sink, and showers with hot water. We ask you to bring your towel, sunscreen, and only biodegradable shampoo/soap since we try to be as sustainable as we can/know.
    - Travel and going around: We recommend coming by car or renting a scooter in Lagos, we can always give rides, since we’re almost daily coming and going to town and around :-). The village of Barão de São João is 5 min away by car or 30 min (2 km) on foot along a dirt road, where you can find bars and restaurants. There is a bus stop 4 minutes by car from the farm that can take you to Lagos where there is the nearest train station, there you will find supermarkets. If you arrive in the Algarve by Faro Airport you can take a bus or train to Lagos and we can meet at the station.
    - Our Pets: We have 3 cats and 4 dogs, one is big and loves to play sometimes because of its size it can be too much and scary. If you don't like it, are scared, have allergies, or are uncomfortable with a big dog please do not apply.

  • 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

  • Can host digital nomads

    Can host digital nomads

    Our internet is not superb so I suggest if you depend on the internet for income that you invest on a local 4G internet plan.

  • Space for parking camper vans

    Space for parking camper vans

    You can come with your camper-van there is space but we can't supply electricity as we are living off the grid as well and running on solar power.

  • How many Workawayers can stay?

    How many Workawayers can stay?

    More than two

  • ...

    Hours expected

    3 hours a day, 5 days a week - no food

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Host ref number: 687812765659