Help revive this off-grid mountain farmstead near Monchique, Portugal

  • Portugal
  • Favourited 370 times
  • Last activity: 24 Mar 2023




  • Description


    It's the Chinese year of the rabbit and it's the year I want to welcome rabbits to Rocha do Corvo.

    I'm looking for help to complete their home.
    Needed in this order:
    1. Semi-skilled building work: finishing the last 3 meters of a 150cm retaining wall and giving the whole all a ring beam
    2. moving earth, filling the space behind the wall where the rabbits will live. Then erecting their pre-fab enclosures.

    #couples particularly welcome#

    There are always plenty of spring jobs to do in the garden :-)

    Please note that
    :the land is remote and you will need your own transport.
    :wifi is limited.

    life on the land

    I am living my dream to revive this beautiful old farmstead in the Algarve hills and turn it into an organic food forest farm. Since arriving in 2020 we have planted a lot of fruit and nut trees, berries, medicinal plants, mushrooms, and many beds with mixed annual and perennial vegetables. We follow the principles of permaculture and aim towards increasing self-sufficiency. There are always new projects on the go. As well as myself, there is Mocca my dog, Ace, the cat and Molly, Poppy and Ash, the chickens.

    Rocha do Corvo is a 10,000m2, south-facing, terraced hillside, nestled in the Monchique mountains. It has a spring, a stream running along the bottom, a small wooden house, a stone house, lots of drystone walling (some need rebuilding) and a camper van. Before I came, the terraces were last farmed 100 years ago. There are established cork oaks, olives, walnuts, figs, grapevines and an orange tree. Since arriving we have planted sweet chestnut, hazelnut, peaches, nectarines, apricots, plums, cherries, apples, persimmons, pomegranate, blueberries, raspberries, passion fruit, and more. Along the river there are a lot of large alder and willow trees and also some eucalyptus.
    The hillside is in a valley and overlooks a natural forest. It is secluded and the nearest neighbours (5 houses) is about 1 km away. The closest village, Marmelete, is 3 km up a steep hill. Once you’re up there, Aljezur is 17km to the west and Monchique about the same to the east. In Aljezur you have incredibly beautiful beaches and surfing opportunities.


    Are you fit and active? Do love being “in the middle of nowhere”, surrounded by nature? Do you enjoy time alone? Do you enjoy working hard? Do you have a passion for growing food or tackling a little building project (wood or stone)? Do you enjoy eating healthy food fresh from the land? Do you have your own transport?

    the help

    The chores on the land are often hard. It is a steep hillside that hasn’t been farmed for 100 years! You will need to be fit and will leave fitter :-)

    I work in my office for part of most days so can't always be there.

    Tasks include:

    caring for the fruit and vegetable gardens
    regenerating soil
    drystone walling - repairing ancient terrace walls.
    creating new gardens - fruit and veg
    strimming and land clearing
    carpentry work
    building steps on slopes.
    felling trees and chainsawing - Only permitted from October - April
    reforesting the hillside (winter work only)

    I'd love to hear from you if any of these jobs sound fun to you.

    my offering

    There is a camper van and a bell tent on the land both of which can accommodate a single person or a couple. I can cook for you 5 days a week or we can happily share this task. There are a lot of vegetables growing on the land and this is our fresh food source. You can use the bathroom in the wooden house for hot showers or hose down by your van / tent or bathe in the stream. We also cook and eat at the wooden house, which is where I live.
    I’m a shiatsu therapist and an English teacher. I know a lot about gardening organically, growing medicinal herbs, making plant medicines, shamanic practice and more… I am open and willing to share my gifts and experience.


    I'm now 56 but already in my childhood I realised that something wasn’t right with the way humanity lives. My reaction as a teenager was to become an eco-anarchist, live in a truck and “fight the system”. Once the travellers' lifestyle became difficult in the UK in the late 80s, I left, travelled through Europe in my truck and landed in SW Portugal. I fell in love with the nature and life here. The incredibly beautiful ocean and the amazing open and clear night skies healed me of my need to fight. I remembered “to be the change you want to see”. I became a solutions person. I built a house (in those days it was so cheap here) and a garden and lived in peace with nature and the community.
    In 2003 as a struggling single mum it became too much to manage on my own and moved to Germany. The plan was to stay 1.5 years but it ended up much longer. I set up a business English coaching company, my daughter went to school and the years went by.
    During this time I did a shamanic apprenticeship and trained to become a shiatsu therapist.
    In 2020, at long last, I came home. Home is a beautiful, steep, terraced hillside nestled in the Monchique mountains.
    I meditate, do yoga, practise shamanism, grow food, work hard, experience nature, live rustically and very simply.
    These are the things that make me happy.
    I’m kind, honest, open, respectful, aware, hard working, often inspired and always interested. I dream of a world with clean water, healthy nutritious food, fresh air, communities of people supporting and caring for each other, working together as part of nature. I’m a doer and a creator and I love working towards manifesting this dream.

  • Types of help and learning opportunities

    Types of help and learning opportunities

    Help with Eco Projects
    DIY and building projects
    Farmstay help
    General Maintenance
  • 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

    I've had a large vegetable garden for many years and have grown a lot of herbs from which I make medicine . tinctures, creams, ointments, teas etc. I'd be happy to pass this knowledge on. I'm also a Shiatsu therapist and an English teacher.

  • Help


    We new currently making lots of gardens and planting a lot of vegetables. Help is needed doing this, caring for the garden, weeding, watering, Parts of the land also need clearing and fire wood needs splitting and storing.

  • Languages spoken

    German: Fluent
    English: Fluent
    Portuguese: Fluent

  • Accommodation


    An Iveco Daily (camper van), kitted out to live in.

  • What else ...

    What else ...

    My land is 20 km from Europe's most beautiful beaches (Aljezur, Portugal) and surfer's paradise. You would have plenty of time for surfing but need to have your own transport.

  • 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

  • Space for parking camper vans

    Space for parking camper vans

    The land is mainly terraced and accessed down a steep hill so it is only suitable for robust small and medium sized camper vans. You can then either park in the shade near the entrance. 4x4s can also find lovely park-ups elsewhere on the land.

  • Can possibly accept pets

    Can possibly accept pets

    I have a dog, a cat and chickens. If you have a pet that's ok with that, they are welcome, too.

  • How many Workawayers can stay?

    How many Workawayers can stay?


  • ...

    Hours expected

    5 hours for 5 days a week

Host ref number: 848196651794

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