Family eco-project in need of helpers! Coimbra and Center, Portugal



Favourited 83 times

  • rating

    Host rating

  • feedbacks



  • last activity

    Last activity


  • facebook friends

    Nº of Facebook friends


  • Badges

    Super Host
    Facebook verified

 Min stay requested: at least a week

  • Description


    Welcome to our Quinta, home of Kate, Matt, Frankie and Pippin. Here we’re striving to build a life away from the rat race in a beautiful valley in Northern Portugal with our ever growing family.

    We’ve taken on a piece of land that was abandoned after a fire 15 years ago so, as you can imagine, there’s a lot of work to be done before we reach our goal of self-sufficiency (within 5 years we hope) Initially when we arrived we battled through brambles and broom to make a space to park our van and now we’re on to such improvements as building a shower block!

    In the design of our farm we’ve aimed to make each aspect intertwine in weird and wonderful ways (we’ve heard it called permaculture in some circles). We’re currently experimenting with lots of different ideas in the garden and have come up with some novel solutions to the problems we’ve so far encountered. As with everything else we’re open to new ideas and appreciate new perspectives.

    One of our explicit aims here is to raise the amount of biodiversity present, though we are already graced with a great many wild creatures large and small. One of the ways we intend to do this is by creating a number of water retention spaces, we also avoid using any refined chemicals in the garden, organic or otherwise, and will be focussing in replanting areas of our land with native deciduous species of tree.

    In the future we are aiming to have a space dedicated to helping those suffering trauma using horticultural and equine therapy, though we’re a long way from that dream yet.

    We’re passionate about off-grid living having trundled around in our Mercedes truck for a number of years before settling here. We minimise waste and reuse everything we can. We have a compost loo and our electricity comes from solar panels (no hair straighteners I’m afraid), we conserve as much water as we can and reuse it if possible.

    We’ve a growing flock of poultry that provide fresh eggs, meat and a valuable service in our self-made “chicken tractor”. We also have a rescue dog and three anarchist cats. We are hoping to get pigs in the future but that involves bumping up against bureaucracy so we’ve not taken that step yet. We’d also like to welcome horses into the fold once our grazing area is prepared, anyone with knowledge of rotational grazing strategies is particularly welcome.

    We have planning permission for a timber frame strawbale house which hopefully we’ll start construction on in September .

  • Types of help and learning opportunities

    Types of help and learning opportunities

    DIY and building projects
    Babysitting and creative play
    General Maintenance
    Creating/ Cooking family meals
    Farmstay help
    Help with Eco Projects
    Help around the house
    Animal Care
    Language practice

  • Cultural exchange and learning opportunities

    Cultural exchange and learning opportunities

    Our interests include politics, science and music, occasionally all three at the same time. We love walking, silly post-dinner conversation and revelling in the wonders of wildlife.

    Matt plays music and loves to have a jam whenever possible. He’s also a bit of an all-rounder in terms of practical work and will happily help you learn some of skills you might need to start up an off-grid life from scratch.

    Kate’s into heirloom seeds and is happy to share knowledge on seed saving and plant growing if that’s your interest.

    We’ve a wealth of knowledge about off-grid living and are full of bright ideas about how to reduce our footprint on the earth which we’re happy to share!

  • Projects involving children

    Projects involving children

    This project could involve children. For more information see our guidelines and tips here.

  • Help


    Our upcoming missions are : —*️️️️️️️️️️️️roundwood timber framing,
    *️️️️️️️️️️️️terrace building,
    *️️️️️️️️️️️️Various garden jobs
    *️️️️️️️️️️️️building a roundwood timber frame potting shed,
    *️ building the farm for our polytunnel and preparing the soil
    *️️️️️️️️️️️️finishing our not-so-eco shower block
    *️️️️️️️️️️️️clearing land and adding to our leaf mould pile,
    *️️️️️️️️️️️️digging in the water system,
    *️️️️️️️ putting the finishing touches to our timber frame awning,

    Please message for specific details of what we’ll be doing at certain times as we’d hate to disappoint. We tend to use at least one day per week for clearing/tidying previously cleared land.

  • Languages spoken

    English: Fluent
    Portuguese: Fluent

  • Accommodation


    Accommodation will be in a caravan or bell tent (if the weather is warm enough). It is not luxury accommodation but is comfortable.

    We have space for live in vehicles.

    We have a rota for cooking and cleaning up but as with most things we’re pretty flexible so we’re happy to trade a bit more time working for a bit less time doing domestic things if that’s your preference. As we share one kitchen we do ask that you are respectful of the space as it will be shared with our family.

  • What else ...

    What else ...

    The nearest bar with internet is about 1 mile away though we prefer a smaller bar in the old part of the town. It is an easy walk or we can drop you off on our way to town if we are going.

    We are quite rural so your own transport would be beneficial but not necessary as we take a few trips to town every week.

    The nearest trains and buses come to Fornos de Algodres and are quite regular.

  • 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 5 hours a day, 5 days a week

These are extra optional ratings when members leave feedback. The average rating left for each option is displayed.

Accuracy of profile: (5.0)

Cultural exchange: (5.0)

Communication: (5.0)

Host ref number: 688118121228