We are Tom and Mati, and this year we moved to Portugal to start our little home-farm out in the countryside of Castelo Branco.
For a long time we have both been traveling the world, working and volunteering at sustainable and social projects and businesses. We met whilst volunteering in brasil and decided to buy a piece of land in Portugal to build our home.
We expect thst until Spring 2019 we will be renovating the barn using ecological building methods. We will also be planting an edible forest on the land. The building take priority but we will try and mix up the work so keep it varied.
So far we have made a cob floor, we have done a lot of cob on the walls, and we have made the wooden first floor and roof. We plan to make a cob (adobe) kitchen, toilet and a tadelakt shower so we have plenty more natural building to show our guests. We are always willing to show guests the theory behind making cob so you know how to make with different characteristics, know how to test your earth etc
We are completely off-grid so first off I must say that this is probably not for everyone. But we will be living in the same condititons as volunteers so we will be maintaining the site at a level that is clean, comfortable and safe for us, visitors and friends
Oh and we have a puppy called mimosa. Although she may not be a puppy when you arrive as she doubles in size most days
Help with Eco project
We have a good few years experience in bioconstruction. I (Tom) was training to manage eco-construction projects for about 6 months before I decided to pack that in and buy this piece of land to start my own gig. If you are really interested in the whole process of testing your soils and making your cob and earth mixes then I love to teach people how it all works. So if you come along when we are cobbing the stone walls then you will get lucky there.
We have also studied permaculture and syntropic agriculture. If you want to learn a bit about how a permaculture farm is laid out, and what syntropic agriculture is then we can teach you about that with reference to our farm.
We make our own soap & cosmetics from scratch so if you are lucky we can make a batch together one afternoon.
We speak Spanish, English and Portuguese, and Mati speaks French and Khmer (the language from Cambodia) so if you want some language practice then come along.
Apart from that, it is a quiet place in the countryside so make sure to bring a book :)
The building work we do revolves around our stone house we are renovating. We use ecological building methods, primarily working with the clay from our land which we use to make ou walls, floor, bathroom, kitchen...everything really
We will be using reclaimed and ecological materials where possible so if you have an interest in how to build using clay, lime paster, wood then come along.
Please note, in the summer it is very hot so bring sun cream. We have a tiny pool to jump in when it all gets too much. And it is cold and rainy in winter so bring appropriate clothing
We work 8:00-13:00 each day and mati and I often work in the evenings. At 12:00 one person goes to cook and we all have lunch together. We take it in turns to cook each day, washing up etc is shared between all. We provide all food 7 days a week.
We have a 5 metre bell tent for me and Mati to sleep in, this is our home. We have another one for volunteers. The bell tent will sleep two or maybe three so if we have too many volunteers you may be cast out to the 4 man camping tent. If you have a camper you are more than welcome (it makes it very easy for us). We have s nice big open space near the house where you can park. In the summer/autumn it is ok to bring campers but when it starts to get wet again I am afraid you could get stuck
We have a shared outdoor kitchen, a lovely shower we built and a compost toilet. Everything we have here we built to live off grid for as little money as possible so if you want to learn about these things come along and we can show you what we have done
We are 10km from the large city of Castelo Branco. There are bars, restaurants, shops and a white castle there. We go there for an afternoon each week to do the shopping so if you don't have your own transport we can drop you off for the afternoon
Limited internet access
We have pets
We are smokers
Can host families
More than two
5 hours a day, 5 days a week