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Cernache do Bonjardim
All Year: Yes
Area (ha): 0.001
Persons: 4
Category: Homestay
Host ID: 16482
Country: Portugal

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Last Updated: October 14, 2017


UPDATE -- We now have a volunteer for Sep and Nov 2017 - Thank you for looking at our profile.

Looking for helpers for April 2018 to get the venue ready for summer season.

We are also looking for volunteers to stay for 1 or 2 months and help in the kitchen during retreats we will be running, cooking vegan, vegetarian and raw food. Experience is required, unfortunately there will be no time to train anybody. Will pay in addition for the right person(s). Please contact us if you are interested.

Any help appreciated, enthusiastic and self-motivated will be welcome to come and give us a hand in exchange for good home made food and your own room. Work Mon to Fri, 25 hrs, weekends off, but we will provide all your food for 7 days/week.

We would prefer people to stay for 1 month, but will consider shorter. Min 2 weeks.

Here at Brejo in the middle of the peaceful mountainous region of central Portugal, where we still collect spring water to drink from free public springs, bath in mineral water from the earth, swim in rivers and lakes and walk through manned forests, where you see no other person.

A 100 year old house, with some outbuildings and courtyard which has been neglected over the last 15 years. It has a lot of character and we think a very nice vibe.
Sometimes in life we are willing to put everything into a dream, which nobody else seems able to see. Looking back we know that we were guided by the universe to leave our previous lives behind us, and now our mission is to experience this life and serve by providing this retreat space where tutors can guide others to find their true purpose and identities

We have an organic Veg garden, supplying us with plenty of fresh veggies during summer. 5 Orange trees, Grapes and pear trees supply us with plenty of fruit at the end of summer, while the new trees we just planted are still growing.

The house is isolated in a small valley and you need a car to get to the next small town (10 mins) or lake (5 mins) and surrounded by manned Eucalyptus forests. You could catch a flight to Lisbon, then a 2 hr train to Tomar, where we can pick you up by car.

Although we don't see ourselves as part of the eco-tourism, but rather as a part of our daily lifestyle to look after the environment and our impact on it here at Brejo Fundeiro retreat centre in rural central Portugal. We grow organic vegetables, herbs and fruit, which is not only a practice, but defines and influence our complete lifestyle. Therefore we do as much as we can to limit our impact on the environment.
Our Veg Patch is a huge part of our life here at Brejo. We were lucky to receive it clean of chemicals (it has been lying dormant for at least 20 years before we accepted the job as Caretakers) and packed with good quality soil compared to the rest of the valley which is full of stones. (we still cant grow carrots yet due to the amount of small stones, but working on a raised bed to sort them out for the future to ensure not only organic, but also tasty carrots.)
We grow a huge variety of veggies, which feeds the two of us all year round, because we process many of them into pickles, chutneys, pesto etc. But we plant plenty more to use for the retreats too. We use rotation of crops to give the spoil time to recover after one plant used a specific mineral, but it is also good practice against diseases. Then we leave 1/4 of the Veg patch dormant for 1 season to give the micro organisms time to do their thing and provide us with a healthy bed the following year. In addition the chickens eat any bugs in the veg patch at the end of summer, while producing beautiful bright yellow eggs all year round.
A typical list of Veg we grow includes: Tomatoes, cucumbers, beans, lettuce, courgettes, aubergines, pumpkins and squashes, normal and sweet potatoes, Beetroot, Spinach, Green-, Red- and Pedrao peppers, Cape gooseberries, Chillies and other veggies you might not have encountered before like Celery bulb, Kohlrabi, Jerusalem Artichokes, etc
Herbs: Basil, 2 x Thyme, 3 x Mint, Rosemary, Sage, 2 x Oregano, Marjoram, Stevia, Lemon grass, Lemon Balm, Lemon Verbena, Ginger and Fennel. We use some of these to make tea infusions, including Tilia blossom, (from the trees in our courtyard), and Olive leave for green tea.
Fruit trees are more seasonal and will depend when you run your retreat: Oranges, Pears, Peaches, Apples, Cherries, Apricots, Plums, Strawberries, Kiwi, Lemons, Limes, (Grapefruit and Pomegranate trees are still in progress of growing), Figs, Black berries, Olives and a handful of other berries in the process of growing
We make Jams from most of the fruit, which is served with breakfasts. Some of the Veggies we pickle to produce things like Gherkins, Chutneys, preserves which we serve with our 'Brejo Mezze'.
Then, we 'grow' 4 varieties of Yoghurts, to serve with breakfast with fresh fruit salad, and milk Kefir for probiotics. Then we also make our own: Water-Kefir and Pear-ale, (both flavoured with ginger) and Lemon squash, and elderflower syrup which all make a refreshing cold drink. We also grow Kombucha to provide yet another healthy drink for our guests, who wish to fill their gut with all the good bacteria required for building a healthy immune system.

We also use different websites where we have more positive feedback.

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