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🌟 From the end of January I'm looking for one more volunteer. Specifically someone to work alongside me who can handle a lot of digging and carrying earth in buckets for our hillside eco-build starting in February (see schedule below).
Olá! I'm Adam, from the UK. I'm seeking people who are interested in off-grid living with the opportunity to practice yoga, permaculture, eco-building and cooking with seasonal ingredients. The project is based on a rustic piece of land in the green heart of Portugal, a riverside paradise 20kms west of Castelo Branco. It is the beginning of an exciting, explorative and hopefully an extremely fulfilling project. The long term goal is to create a small non-profit school of yoga and permaculture. My vision includes:
🌱 Building a hillside auditorium for yoga, music events and outdoor cinema.
🌱 Superabobe tiny guest houses using as much locally sourced materials as possible;
🌱 Integrating renewable and free energy techniques and technology;
🌱 Growing a food forest of colour, fragrance and edibles and encouraging wild foraging of food;
🌱 Giving back to the community of local people and volunteers, through tree donations and scholarships and subsidised training on our courses.
Before I go any further, please take the time to read all of this profile. I will only accept people who have done so. Furthermore, it will give you a good understanding about if this is the kind of project for you.
SCHEDULE FOR 2022
🌱 Feb-Apr: Build an auditorium for yoga practice, music events and outdoor cinema. Learn about principles of earthship building using clay mixtures and recycled materials.
🌿 May-Jun: planting a wild woodland area and build a compost toilet. Practice yoga plus learn how to measure the land, design water harvesting earthworks and plant trees.
🌼 Jul-Aug: General permaculture maintenance like tending to the veggie garden, mulching tree basins and learning how to preserve foods and herbs as well as all the daily tasks that keep off-grid living ticking along. Practice yoga every day and enjoy getting out of the Sun by chilling in the cool bliss of the river.
🍂 Sept-Oct: Earthbag dome eco-build. Help needed in the kitchen, cleaning and other daily tasks. Join in with the build when tasks are complete and learn the principles of superadobe building such as clay mixtures, building arches, domes and vaults.
OUR VALUES AND PRACTICES
🌼 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.
🌼 Quiet time - we observe silence (mauna) from 10pm to 9am. This help cultivate a sacred space and encourages us to look inwards.
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.
July to August are dry with temperatures reaching 40-42⁰C. Luckily, we have the river and nice shady trees. Spring and autumn are the most pleasant times for the manual work. This will be my first winter on the land and so far temperatures during the day are between 11-20⁰C. If the skies are clear, the temperature drops to -5⁰C at night as the project is in a valley. But, with cloud the night temperature hovers around 7⁰C. In any case, we are making every effort to stay warm with an abundance of wood to burn.
My goal for this project is to create a retreat-style environment where you can feel safe to delve deeper into the diverse and fulfilling realms of personal growth, nature and spirituality. Volunteering here is based upon a well-established karma yoga program, the benefits of which will help you to learn about yourself, relationships with others and perhaps your purpose in life. You will learn a great deal about permaculture and living off-grid as well.
A TYPICAL DAY
I believe in fairness and a good team effort. We'll aim to work a maximum of 5 hours, 5 days a week. If we run over when a job needs to get done, we'll then work less the next day. Our schedule can change but right now it looks roughly like this:
0730-1000 help (the best way to stay warm is to move)
1330-1700 yoga or free-time
1700-1900 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 5 hours of help. We all chip in together on preparing meals and doing the washing up (even on days off).
THINGS TO BRING
For summer & autumn:
• Long sleeved clothes and hat for sun protection;
• Water bottle (fresh spring water will be provided);
• Clothes for swimming;
• A 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 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;
• Keep silence between the hours of 10pm and 9am;
• No drugs or tobacco on the project.
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 interested in coming along to answer the following questions in their initial email. If you are a couple applying then please both provide separate answers.
1. Are you willing to bring positive energy and responsible attitude to the project?
2. Are you capable of doing several hours of physically demanding tasks for up to five days per week?
3. What is unique about you that you will bring to the project?
4. What would your friends say your best qualities are?
5. What is about yourself on a personal level are you interested in working on?
6. How do you respond to direct and constructive feedback?
7. What benefits do you see yourself gaining from being here?
8. Please provide mobile number (for Telegram app) and/or email.
By applying you are confirming that you have read the information on this profile fully and agree to abide by our agreements.
It is a privilege for me to offer this opportunity to you, as a budding volunteer. Living off-grid takes acceptance of the way things are, humility and a good deal of letting go. More than that though, this place has something special about it. Wrapped up within a the sounds of bird song, water, wind are gentle reminders of who we really are. Dedication to our practice and the karmic work helps draw those lessons into conscious awareness. It is my wish for you that, through this experience you unlearn something about yourself every day that you are here.
Pratique d’une langue
Aide avec des éco-projets
Bricolage et projets de construction
S’occuper des animaux
Aide dans une ferme
Cuisine/repas pour la famille
You'll learn a great deal about permaculture. Plus also daily yoga. By the way, if you are also a bodyworker, treatment exchanges would be most welcome.
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 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.
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.
Food and accommodation included.
During winter, it's too cold and wet for the tents. Right now there's an old van that we have converted into a living space. Plus, we're in the middle of building a log cabin big enough for two volunteers to sleep on comfy mattresses. So when that's finished I have space for up to three volunteers. There is also space for two medium-sized campervan on the land. I can provide 3-4 season synthetic sleeping bags, hot-water bottles and extra blankets.
During spring, summer and autumn there options to stay in the van or tents. You'll have a single bed in either one. Of course, you can bring your own tent or camping hammock if you wish to.
I offer the essential and basic ingredients for two vegetarian meals a day plus lots of fruit for snacks. If you have any special dietary requirements, please bring your choice of product with you. If you need to buy more whilst here, we do a food shop in Castelo Branco once a week where I can help you to source it locally.
Please note, this is a vegetarian project and we are very much look forward to cooking the most delicious and healthy meals with you. However, if you are a meat eater, Portuguese cuisine is highly meat orientated with some friendly local restaurants in the area or a bit further away in Castelo Branco. You are welcome to dine out at your own expense if you wish to do so.
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.
Sarzades is about 2h15 by car from Lisbon (via the toll roads). If you don't have a car I can arrange to pick you up from Castelo Branco.
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.
THINGS TO DO
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 will be daily yoga practice which is orientated towards increasing our inner fire during winter. Plus, if you wish to have a traditional and professional Thai massage, you can book one with me.
Accès Internet limité
Nous avons des animaux
Nous sommes fumeurs
The parking space is down a track on a flat terrace suitable for a medium-wheel base campervan.
I do accept pets but they must be obedient, friendly with other animals (and that means that they leave other animals alone) and relatively quiet. However, pets are not allowed inside the accommodations. For dogs we can look to build a kennel if we have enough notice.
Plus de 2
Maximum 4-5 hours a day, 5 days a week
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