I have been living in the Algarve for over twenty years. During that time I have run my own business as a baker of artisan breads using traditional methods. I also work as an agriculturalist, growing fruit and vegetables on my own land and with a special interest in agriculture, particularly the cultivation and care of carob, olive, almond and fig trees, the staple tree crops of the Algarve.
I live alone in a traditional Portuguese cottage in a small village, twenty minutes from the Algarve coast. The village has some facilities, including a cafe, a post office, a bank machine, and a small supermarket and is situated on a local bus route. My cottage has a courtyard, with a traditional bread oven and there is a plentiful supply of fresh vegetables and fruits.
Any visitors coming to work with me will live with me "en famille" but will have their own bedroom and access to all the facilities in the house. There is always a possibility if you come with your own transport to camp on my land, which is 10 minutes drive from the house.
I have direct experience and a wide knowledge of the ways and traditions of local people and their agricultural practices, from managing harvests, processing the dried fruits and nuts, extracting the oil, and soil and water issues. I also have a good knowledge of local flora and fauna and can organise guide walks and visits to the secret places of the Algarve and local restaurants.
Visitors will get a unique inside insight into Algarve subsistence farming and a countryside way of life which is fast disappearing. They will gain a farmer's understanding of the local trees and how they are managed and how the products are used.
Visitors will also get the benefit of my many years' experience of Portugal and the Algarve in particular and I will make sure that I either take or direct visitors to the wonderful inland places of the Algarve, as well as special beaches on the coast.
What I require are physically fit people who will help me prepare the ground around the trees prior to harvesting the almonds, carobs, figs and olives and other fruits. This preparation is generally a Spring job.
In the Summer, from August until the end of October, I need people to help me harvest the carobs, olives, figs and almonds. There will also be some light work processing them.
I don't expect people to climb trees or do such specialised work. It will be work on the ground only. People who want to come need to be able to get up for an early start as the work will only take place until lunchtime, as particularly in the summer, it will be too hot to work in the afternoon.
Visitors will be accommodated in my house and have a room of their own with a shared bathroom. They will also be able to use the kitchen facilities and living room space. I have an outside courtyard for eating out in the summer.
I have a good internet connection but there is no TV. There are two local restaurants which is possible to walk to. I eat a healthy omnivore diet and can accommodate vegetarian food, but I can't accommodate a strict vegan diet.
My village is only 20 minutes drive from some of the most beautiful beaches in the world. Buses pass my house to the nearest market towns of Loule and Messines. There are some lovely walks straight from my house along the Via Algarviana and we live under the beautiful rocky outcrop called Rocha de Pena, a haven for birds and other wildlife.
I am very happy to accommodate anyone of any age, as long as they are prepared to get the best from the experience I have to offer. I do enjoy drinking the lovely local wine with meals, but am not prepared to accommodate drug use in my house. I love to talk about all kinds of issues and enjoy hearing about other cultures and learning new things from people.
Limited internet access
We have pets
We are smokers
Can host families
More than two
Maximum 4-5 hours a day, 5 days a week