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Permaculture, Eco-building and Conscious Living in Sarzades, Portugal

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  • Activité récente: 18 juin 2024



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  • Description


    Olá folks! I'm Adam. Come to my project in central Portugal for a back to basics detox, immersion into nature and experience of the good life off-grid 🐓🌳

    👋 ABOUT ME
    I grew up in Cornwall, UK, have travelled well, teaching yoga and giving Thai massage professionally in many different countries. Working with my hands is a real passion. I love to get stuck in and so I really enjoy building with earth as much as planting trees in it. This project is a dream coming true and I delight in sharing it with others.

    Having quit my own corporate career eleven years ago to travel the world, the time came to start settling down and building something for the future. Without the funds to buy land in the UK, I explored options in France and Spain but chose Portugal for it's tranquil atmosphere, green wild spaces, pockets of paradise and some of the most friendly-natured people in the world. So, two years ago, I bought a neglected piece of land, nestled in a beautiful valley, next to a river. It is the best decision I've ever made.

    For me, this project is about simplifying the way that I live to remove distractions and reveal the things that cage me. Yes, there are animals to look after and they can teach you a lot. We are eco-building with natural materials, growing our own food, skill-sharing and co-creation activities. We eat from the healthiest of ingredients and relax by the river. We celebrate around the fire and enjoy time with friends from neighbouring projects. It is a wonderful life. However, my experience is growing deeper than this.
    Through time and a never-ending flow of challenges, the natural world has become a valued teacher and companion. This relationship is entirely unique, like nothing else out there, a dynamic balance of ever-changing states of being, birth, growth and death. By living here, present and conscious, I am guided to understand the nature of who I am and how I can serve a greater purpose. I have a feeling that in this cycle of life there is a great opportunity, one that revolves around a very simple relationship between us and the great Mother Nature. For if we protect her, then she will look after us. My invitation for you, is to come here and experience it for yourself.

    ... that I enjoy hosting is enthusiastic, animal-loving, reliable and truthful. Kindness and compassion are a must. You are on time, keep your accommodation clean, don't mind getting your hands dirty and readily offer help at meal times. An open mind is also a plus. Stays of two weeks or more for first-time volunteers are most welcome.

    🌼 Encourage everyone to develop a grounded sense of being through daily spiritual practice. I practice vipassana meditation, tai chi and yin yoga, but you may wish to follow your own practice be it tai chi, dance or anything else that brings you into your body and in connection with the greater consciousness.

    🌼 Zero waste - we live consciously in consuming as little electricity and water, as possible. We recycle as much as we can and try not to buy non-recyclables. No food is wasted and all vegetable scraps go to composting.

    🌼 Organics only - to minimise our impact on nature we use natural soaps, toothpastes, cleaning agents, etc, wherever possible.

    🌼 Digital detox - during the hours of helping on the project, I ask that people refrain from using their devices. During free time it is fine to use them.

    Living so closely with nature usually means that our timings are somewhat defined by environmental factors. For example, to beat the heat in summer, we start earlier. In winter, we relax a little and start later. Here is a rough guide (for a 5 hour day):

    0800-0830 Sharing circle and team orientation
    0830-1000 help
    1000-1100 breakfast
    1100-1400 help
    1400-1600 free-time (yoga/meditation)
    1600-1800 dinner and cleaning up

    Please note: just like being at home, cooking breakfast and dinner plus doing the dishes and cleaning are not included in the hours of help (except for those who are helping in the kitchen during the build). Cooking and washing dishes will be evenly worked on a rota basis.

    The project is in a very secluded area with both a river and a seasonal stream along it's border. In India, the place where two bodies of water meet is said to be a very special place. It's also got both flat and sloped sections of land with existing fruit trees. It all needs a lot of love and attention. 3kms away is the municipal village, Sarzedas and Castelo Branco is 25kms away.

    ☀️ WEATHER
    July to August are hot and dry with temperatures anywhere between 32-42⁰C. Cooler nights of around 18⁰C. Luckily, we have the river and nice shady trees. Spring and autumn are the most pleasant times for the manual work. During winter, night-time temperatures can drop below freezing (on clear nights) and then rise again to be between 11-20⁰C during the days.

    For summer & autumn:
    • Long sleeved clothes and hat for sun protection;
    • Water bottle (fresh spring water will be provided);
    • your own hammock;
    • Clothes for swimming;
    • a good book;
    • towel;
    • Head torch;
    • A notepad and pen.

    For spring & winter:
    • A good waterproof jacket or poncho;
    • Good shoes or Wellington boots;
    • Warm clothes as the nights and early mornings can be freezing cold;
    • Water bottle (fresh spring water will be provided);
    • A towel;
    • Head torch;
    • A notepad and pen.

    To support everyone within this sacred space, I, along with previous and current volunteers have defined some agreements:

    • Be kind and respectful to others;
    • Be on time for the help required of you;
    • No alcohol or drugs on the project. Tobacco can be smoked away from the land but must be done very carefully.
    • If you damage something, it is your responsibility to repair it or replace it;
    • No food in the accommodations (it will attract ants and mice).

    The way we live here fosters a process of growth for all involved. I appreciate open communication, a good work ethic, initiative and punctuality. Above all we practice the values of being abundant, enthusiastic, giving, kind and truthful.

    To my delight this project is turning out to be very popular and I find it necessary to ask everyone a series of questions. Please include your answers in your contact message:

    Are you able and willing to help out for up to three hours and day, five days per week?

    Are you willing to bring a positive attitude to this project?

    What interests you about this project?

    What does being in nature mean to you?

    Have you ever lived off-grid or been camping for more than two weeks before?

    What skills and qualities would you bring to this project?

    What would you like to learn about whilst here? Permaculture, eco-building, etc?

    Do you like to cook for others and with others (if needed)?

    Scenario based question. What would you do if you find broken glass on the floor or the waste bin full?

    How long would you like to stay for?

    And lastly, what is your email or contact number for Telegram or WhatsApp?

    Thank you in advance for taking the time to read this profile and applying to volunteer. I do my best to reply to workaway requests within a couple of days.

    Kindest regards,


  • Types d'aide et opportunités d'apprendre

    Types d'aide et opportunités d'apprendre

    Pratique d’une langue
    Aide avec des éco-projets
    Bricolage et construction
    Aide dans une ferme
    Cuisine/repas pour la famille
    Entretien général
  • Echange culturel et opportunités d'apprendre

    Echange culturel et opportunités d'apprendre

    You'll learn a great deal about permaculture. Plus also daily meditation. By the way, if you are also a bodyworker, treatment exchanges would be most welcome.

  • Aide


    Living off-grid is about routine and more routine. Discipline around having the basics handled enables us to enjoy the fun bits of project work - the meditation, yoga, building and permaculture.

    With that in mind there is a list of daily tasks that we need help with including collecting and storing firewood, fetching water, cleaning communal spaces and handling food waste for compost.

  • Langues

    Langues parlées
    Anglais: Courant
    Français: Débutant
    Portugais: Débutant

    Cet hôte propose un échange linguistique
    Cet hôte a indiqué qu’il souhaitait faire partager sa propre langue ou en apprendre une nouvelle.
    Contactez-le pour en savoir plus.

  • Hébergement


    Accommodation included. Don't expect luxury here. Our off-grid style is basic with compost toilets, washing in the river or in our outdoor shower. We also cook our food in our open air kitchen. In other words it's basic and we love it like that.

    There are options to stay in a van, caravan or tents. You'll have a single bed in either one. Of course, you can bring your own tent, van or camping hammock if you wish to.

    Please note, I am unable to provide an exchange including food. The hours are reduced from the usual five to three hours per day to reflect this. You are welcome to join me for the weekly shopping in Castelo Branco or catch the bus into town during time off.

    Until we make an off-grid alternative, I do my laundry in Castelo Branco when it is needed. If you want to join in, we share the cost.

    Unfortunately, due to the demands of the project, I am unable to offer exchanges involving children or dogs.

  • Autres infos...

    Autres infos...

    We're sited in the region of Castelo Branco. Val Chiquiero is the closest village which is about 25 minutes from Castelo Branco town. I can offer pick up and drop off in Castelo Branco for a contribution of €20 (must be arranged in advance). Alternatively, there is a bus from Castelo Branco via the N233 that passes by Val Chiquiero. From there the project is a 30 minute walk away or we can pick you up by prior arrangement (again with a fuel contribution).

    Sarzades is about 2h15 by car from Lisbon (via the toll roads). From Castelo Branco it's 25 minutes.

    The closest airport is also Lisbon Portela Airport. From there, there is the options of both buses and trains to get to Castelo Branco.

    By train from Lisbon Airport is real easy. Take the airport metro to Lisboa Santa Apolonia train station. You need to buy a metro card, it's simple and cheap. At the train station buy a train ticket for Castelo Branco (I've read that online systems are unreliable).

    If choosing bus, take the 509 bus (operated by Comboios de Portugal) from the airport to SETE RIOS STATION. Tickets for Castelo Branco can be bought from the ticket office. I understand that Citi Express is the bus company.

    Other ways may include car-sharing apps like BlaBlaCar, although I have not used this app in Portugal.

    As well as the river on my land, there are three 'river beaches' all within 5km distance. There are two small villages with local amenities, both 3kms away. For horse lovers, we collect manure from a friend's stable twice a week, where you can spend time around five beautiful horses and a pony. We'll also do a fortnightly trip to the city for Monday's market. The Garduhna and Estrella mountain ranges are to the north, about an hour drive away. The historic village of Monsanto and the Spanish border are a little bit further.

    There is the option to watch a movie on the solar powered cinema, campfire (in winter) and yoga practices. Plus, if you wish to have a traditional and professional Thai massage, you can book one with me.

  • Informations complémentaires

    Informations complémentaires

    • Accès Internet

    • Accès Internet limité

      Accès Internet limité

    • Nous avons des animaux

    • Nous sommes fumeurs

    • Familles bienvenues

  • Espace pour garer des vans

    Espace pour garer des vans

    The parking space is down a track on a flat terrace suitable for a medium-wheel base campervan.

  • Combien de volontaires pouvez-vous accueillir ?

    Combien de volontaires pouvez-vous accueillir ?


  • ...

    Nombre d'heures attendues

    3 hours, 5 days a week

N° de référence hôte : 549714443349

Feedback (21)



Ce sont des évaluations supplémentaires en option lorsque les membres laissent un feedback. La note moyenne pour chaque option est affichée.

Exactitude du profil: (5.0)

Échange culturel: (4.9)

Communication: (5.0)

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