Come and try out the off grid sustainable way of life near Tabua in Central Portugal

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Portugal

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  • last activity

    Last activity

    20/09/2019

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    100.0 %

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    within 2 days

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This listing is a Last minute host. They have let us know that they are looking for help immediately as well as at other times of the year.
  2019 

 Min stay requested: at least 2 weeks

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  • Description

    Description

    *️Looking now for people to finish an outside wooden vermi composting toilet and clear woodland*


    Off grid Quinta in Central Portugal between Tabua and Oliveira do Hospital. The Quinta is 2 acres and shared between myself and my adult daughter and her partner. We live like neighbours, each responsible for our own share of the land and as we have different requirements, she has her own workaway page - 519647724974

    We have both been workaway volunteers and now we are workaway hosts. We believe our experiences will help to make us good workaway hosts as we know what we liked and disliked from our own experiences. We aim to be fair and to make this an enjoyable experience for both of us.
    We are English and came here to get away from the hamster wheel of work, spend, work. We wanted to see if it was possible to live another way ... and there is. We don't have 'jobs' or a regular income but our only bill is for the internet. Our power is solar, our water from our well and hot water is also solar heated. Our sanitation goes to a vermicomposting system (worms eat our waste) and my house runs on 12 volt power and has an eco rocket stove for heating which burns the wood which we have in abundance. We try to grow as much of our food as we can, organically, and follow permaculture principles in that virtually nothing leaves the land, everything is used in some way. All organic waste goes back into the land. Rainwater is caught and stored and we are hoping to make a natural pond this year

  • Type of help

    Type of help

    Gardening
    Building
    Farmstay
    Help with Eco project

  • Cultural exchange and learning opportunities

    Cultural exchange and learning opportunities

    Our Quinta is totally off grid and we live as sustainably and ecologically minded as we can, so that can be an interesting and learning experience. Our land was basically just disused land when we came here in 2016 so everything on it was built or put there by us. Our power is all from solar, our water is from a spring fed stone well, our sanitation goes to a vermicomposting system. We try to grow as much of our own food as we can. Sadly we lost most of our fruit trees so are planting a new orchard at the moment. We grow our food organically and are taking on board permaculture principles in that we try to use everything on the land, so for example all the small branches that need to be cleaned from the felled trees will go to make a hugelkulture bed to grow next years veggies in. A stay with us will be a glimpse into a different way of life from the 9-5, 5 day week working life of work, spend, consume, work again. We live on the edge of a small rural village in Central Portugal so that is also culturally interesting.

  • Help

    Help

    I am open to all ages but I would prefer 2 people because a lot of jobs are much easier with 2 pairs of hands and also a lot more fun for you if you are working with a partner or friend. As you may know, there was a massive forest wildfire here in October 2017 and sadly our land got burnt out. It has greened up and is looking beautiful again (all the photos are current) and visitors cannot believe there was a fire here, it looks so lovely now - only we know that the grassy meadows used to be woodland that has had to be be felled and one of our jobs is that it needs turning into firewood and larger pieces are going to be used for eco constructions. Other work would be mowing/strimming, tree pruning, planting out the vegetable plot, taking cuttings and making new plants, landscaping and making a drought resistant garden, pruning fruit and olive trees, planting out a new woodland with a variety of 7 indigenous trees, landscaping and general land maintenance and of course good old digging! One day per week you will work with my daughter who has her own vegetable gardens to maintain but may also have some different work, maybe eco construction. I would prefer people who have volunteering experience and some kind of personal experience with gardening or working on the land.

    Please be considerate.
    I have had many volunteers message me (and presumably many other people at the same time) saying 'I really, really, really want to come and volunteer with you' and then after I have taken the time to look at their profile, looked at the jobs that I need doing, worked out whether they would be suitable for those jobs, then checked what accommodation I have available, what social commitments I have for those dates that might conflict with having volunteers, and then weighed it all up and decided yes, and messaged them that 'Yes, I would love to have you come:)' and write a pleasant email telling them more about here and what jobs need doing at the moment and offering transport information etc ... Then I put them in my diary and wait. I see that they have read my message so I continue to wait. And wait. Maybe I message again ... and wait. But I never hear from them again. Once they are in my diary when I get enquiries from other volunteers I can't say 'yes' to them because I have booked out the accommodation. So I end up having received enquiries from several volunteers and end up with none.
    So please, I ask you to be respectful. It takes a minute to write a reply.

  • Languages spoken

    Languages spoken

    English, Portuguese

  • Accommodation

    Accommodation

    There is a caravan (photo below) which we have just refurbished and it is now a lovely bedroom and will sleep 1 or 2 cosily, - we have even had 3 friends sleep in there quite happily. Now that the inside is lovely, the next stage will be to make an outside veranda with comfy sitting area and kitchen for it with a roof to give shade. It will be truly lovely once finished. Until then my house varanda has a sofa on it and good wifi and charging points so you are welcome to sit on that in the evening.
    We also have a 5m diameter pink geo-dome (photo below) which has a proper double bed inside, a large comfy sofa, basic washing facility and a basic gas hob for self catering. A future project will be to make a decking outside with sitting area and proper kitchen.
    I live in a proper house which I designed myself, so there is also a luxurious (well I think it is luxurious anyway!!) wet room bathroom with an awesome shower, solar heated so dependent on sun for the heat of the water but even in winter it is usually hot. Daily showers will not be possible in the summer when the water level is low. I am vegetarian, almost vegan, so the evening meal will be a wholesome cooked vegetarian or vegan meal. Breakfast will be continental style with freshly brewed coffee and lunch will be wholesome soup or salad. On days off I will provide breakfast but often people like to go out for the whole day and experience Portugal, starting with a Portuguese cafe for breakfast :) Snacks and extras and alcohol if required, you will need to provide yourself. Sorry but I do not want smokers :( We have 2 large dogs but they are super friendly and 4 cats and 2 kittens. I feel we have enough animals here so cannot accommodate people with pets. I don't generally socialise in the evenings which is why I think volunteers in pairs is better. I do have unlimited wifi internet, a hard drive with a huge library of films on if you have a device with a usb port and a memory stick and a kindle with 100's of books on that you are welcome to use.

  • What else ...

    What else ...

    We are in a beautiful area of Central Portugal, with a view of the Serra do Acor and the Serra da Estrela. It has just been awarded classification by Unesco as a Global Geopark - Geopark Estrela. It covers an area of 2216km2. There is a video which I can send to you via message as the site does not allow web site links on here.There are dozens of river beaches within a short distance and many beautiful walks and drives. The nearest river beach is in Avo which is a 1.8km/15 minute walk from here. There are some lovely villages in the mountains and the Xisto trail is definitely something worth walking. We are an hour drive from the Serra de Estrela mountains and Torre the highest point in mainland Portugal which has snow on it and skiing in late winter/early Spring. I belong to a hiking group and every 2 weeks we go on a day hike, usually to one of the 3 mountain ranges that we are in the middle of. You are welcome to join me.
    I will try to make your stay as interesting and enjoyable as possible and would really appreciate your help.
    Items that would be helpful for you to bring with you would be a good light as there is no lighting on the land and clothes that you do not mind getting dirty as all the work is outside work.

  • A little more information

    A little more information

    • Internet access

    • Limited internet access

      Limited internet access

    • We have pets

    • We are smokers

  • How many Workawayers can stay?

    How many Workawayers can stay?

    More than two

  • ...

    Hours expected

    4-5 hours a day, 5 days a week

Me - your host :)
Vermi composting toilet - looking for volunteers now to help finish it :)
My veggie garden with the shade canopy made by my volunteers Ben and Victoria.
Looking down on our land, my little blue house and the caravan to the right.
My house and a view of the land.
The volunteer caravan. Small but lovely.
Your cosy caravan bedroom :)
Amazing sunset views from out Quinta !
A view of the lower terraces and geodesic domes where my daughter lives.
My daughter's 2 Serra da Estrella - portuguese sheep dogs. Big but super friendly :)
Planting a new fruit orchard.
Misty ... one of our 4 cats ... ah 5 cats as just got a kitten :)

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Host ref number: 766138436359