Our place is an old farm in the foothills of the Gardunha mountain range in central Portugal. After it was abandoned for 30 years we started with the renovation in 2021. It consists of a traditional beira baixa schist-stone farm house and the small former winemaking house. It is surrounded by aprox. 1 hectare of terraced land with centuries old olive -trees, cork-oaks, figs and several fruit trees. In 2022 we added a 1 acre horta (vegetable garden), with 3 traditional stone waterwells, to the property where we intend to start our permaculture food forest project with respect with the local farm traditions.
It is situated on top of a hill overlooking a small village (45 inhabitants) with a mountain stream in the valley below.
The village is 35 minutes by car from the main provincial town with big supermarkets, restaurants etc. There is a beautiful river beach for swimming in the next village at 5 minutes by car.
We are Jeroen (51) and Paul (51) , a male couple together for 22 years and living in Amsterdam the Netherlands and here in Portugal. Sometimes we will both be present and sometimes one of the two of us will be.
'Mão azul' means 'blue hand' in portuguese language. The blue hand is one of the twenty seals/symbols in the tzolkin/maya calendar/horoscope of natural living. We were both born on a 'blue hand' day. In the ancient maya culture the blue hand symbol stands for everything that can be understhand, touched, made and healed by the energy and intelligence of the hands. We aimsto be a natural and cultural place where this power of the hands is celebrated.
Help with Eco Projects
DIY and building projects
Creating/ Cooking family meals
Help around the house
Since we are using and re-using schist stones from the buildings and the hill there are many options to work with traditional natural schist stone and natural building techniques. in 2022 and 2023 we plan to work on the roofs so an opportunity to learn in traditional wood and schist roofmaking, We are starting our permaculture vegetable garden /foodforest in 2022 so you can work on this proces from the start. You can witness and be apart of a very old traditional european village culture where people have been working with and from the land and the elements for ages.
Jeroen can teach you bodywork (thai yoga massage, shiatsu, massage therapy, meditation techniques) Paul can teach you about electrical technique, animatronics and show-control.
We request our guests to help 4 to 5 hours a day for 5 days a week. Possible tasks in 2022; -restoring traditional schist-stone terrace walls -masonry of a new structure on top of the old schist winehouse, -pointing of traditional schist stone walls -bringing sand, pebbles and cement downhill with the wheelbarrow, -carpenting: roof structures, an outside shower or a firewood storage place, -placing windows and doors, -painting the wood of the buildings -lifting old roof tiles -cleaning old rooftiles -clearing the land of the horta -cleaning the old water wells -preparing the soil -sewing and planting vegetables -watering plants and fruittrees -harvesting vegetables, grapes, fruits and harvesting olives in november -cooking meals -washing the dishes. In summer: we mostly work 3 to 4 hours in the early morning hours between 7 and 11 to avoid the heat and 1or 2 hours in the evening shade.
This host offers a language exchange
We are practicing portugese, can exchange in dutch, english and french
You can pitch your own tent on one of the terraces, or use our tent or tipi or sleep in the old farm or winemaking-house (since we are currently renovating those buildings this might not always be possible). Bring your own sleeping matras and sleeping bag. (we might have sleeping matrasses available but communicate about this before you travel) We have cold running water and electricity and a fireplace with firewood for the cold months. You can currently shower with a gardenhose or a bucket shower. There is a provisional outdoor kitchen under a roof structure with a gas-stove and wok burner and a traditional breadoven. Expect: billions of stars at nighttime and very hot summer days in july and august. There is 3g reception on the farm and 4g reception at the entrance on the the top of the hill. good to know: some nights are totally silent some nights are with the sounds of barking dogs from the near village.
In july and august we eat, fully rest and swim between 12 and 16 hours.
We have one car and one mountainbike. There is (limited ) public transport. We go to town, by car, at about once a week to do shoppings in the supermarket,or at the local farmers market, buy building materials, eat in a (vegetarian) restaurant. We go once or twice a week to a dance or music gathering or to the outdoor solar cinema or visit friends at nearby eco farms. During the summer months we go for daily swimming at one of the local river beaches during the hot afternoon. You can go hiking in the surrounding hills or nearby gardunha mountain range.
We are open for doing daily yoga, meditation, making music and dancing together. We like playing board games.
Limited internet access
We have pets
We are smokers
Can host families
acces is tarmac road followed by 200 meters of dirt road (no 4x4 needed) there is a parking spot on top of the hill (no shade yet) and maybe a spot can be created on top of the hill under the shade of the corck oaks. you can use our compost toilet if needed. you can get drinking water below at our farm not at the spot where you can park your camper.
Maximum 4-5 hours a day, 5 days a week