All Year: Yes
Area (ha): 10
Category: Organic Farmstay
Host ID: 27812
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Last Updated: June 9, 2015
2015 will be the big year for renovation and construction, so if those things interest you, please get in touch.
There are of course many things still to do on the land - planting, pruning, re-discovering the levadas and old watercourses - plus the never-ending battle with the brambles (ronces, espinheiros, brombeerstrauch)...
General organisational help and shopping/cooking are also essential. Something for everyone, in other words!
WHAT: A new eco-project half-way up the highest mountain in Portugal. We got started in August 2014 and a lot has happened. And most of it thanks to wonderful HelpX-ers!
The site is completely off-grid, and has excellent year-round water supplies, impressive terraces, fruit trees (apple, pear, plum, quince), sweet chestnut, and a couple of buildings - both in need of thorough renovation.
And that's pretty much all we *do* have at the moment - aside from the desire to create a very comfortable and beautiful place, able to accomodate 30+ in summer, and 12-15 during the cooler months.
WHERE: About 20 minutes from Seia, amongst the stunning scenery, crystal clear lakes and rivers of the Serra da Estrela, and with views across the Alvoco, Mondego and Da§ valleys towards the Ašor and Caramulo ranges.
TO DO: 2015 will see us continuing the renovation of the existing buildings, and starting construction of additional facilities. Along with everything from solar power to micro-hydro, composting and phyto-filtration.
As well as the renovation and building work, we're re-foresting; creating new paths and walkways; bringing the various planting spaces back to life using permaculture principles; looking into how best to preserve and enhance the local wildlife; introduce and support bees; and in time a whole lot more...
The land area is large and varied, and is bounded on one side by a year-round stream. There are flat, fertile terraces, fruit and chestnut trees on the lower sections, with steep slopes and more open mountain terrain higher up.
YOUR PROFILE: We are looking for help from people with some experience and skills, but tolerance, attitude, creativity and a willingness to join-in are just as important. And if you're willing to learn (or to teach!), then we will support that in any way we can.
WHAT ELSE: We don't have very fixed ideas about anyone's 'length of stay'; only that it has to work well for everyone.
Work hours will be flexible and reasonable. We're not clock-watchers, but there are things that we do need to get done, and we really appreciate people who can see that too, and who bring some initiative.
Food and accommodation will be provided of course, and as we progress we will be able to host larger numbers.
It's a little bit basic at the moment, but we'll build our way out of that problem - with your help. We'll update on this regularly once we get going. The very first stages were more akin to assisted camping, but that's why we started in summer (and why we took a break over winter!).
Dietary Notes: We are not completely vegetarian, but often prepare meals with no meat, so have no trouble catering for those who are. If you are vegan, you are of course very welcome, but it's up to you which items from our vegetarian 'aspect' you choose to eat...
We have a mild preference for non-smokers - primarily because of the EXTREME fire-risk. Anybody visiting the Portuguese countryside needs to be constantly alert to this of course, but especially smokers.
A word about drugs: Really not our thing, other than caffeine and the odd drop of alcohol. Our experience is that drugs generally make you slower and duller, so please don't plan on bringing or using any.
We're not attached to any particular belief system either, in case you're wondering. Not that it's very important. We're happy to host positive and creative people of any faith or religion, or indeed of none.
Our own day-to-day inspirations come from a variety of sources and traditions, both spiritual and practical.
We count Schumacher, Eisenstein, Mollison, Mill and Montaigne as major influences, along with Taleb, Mickey Mouse, Monty Python and The Simpsons.
WHAT NEXT? Contact us via HelpX in the usual way, and we'll take it from there.
Thanks for reading!
(Photos below: The site itself, sunset and sunrise, and the 'Praia Fluvial' waterfall and swimming area, just a short walk away)