figueirò da serra
All Year: Yes
Category: Organic Farmstay
Host ID: 39258
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Last Updated: December 30, 2015
Ola! After having being volunteers while searching for land we are now proud hosts!
We are a family farm and permaculture project up on the western slopes of the Serra da Estrela mountain range in central Portugal. We are Sara and Emil, italian-swedish couple in our mid thirties. We bough the Quinta (farm in Portuguese) 3 years ago and so far we've made ourselves cozy - transforming an existing stable into our small but comfortable home, planted trees, got some animals, had a baby (Emma, who's now 1), started the renovation of the main house - simply enjoying the good life!
Permaculture is our biggest inspiration and it saturates everything we do here. We don't just want to live a sustainable life but we believe in going beyond sustainability towards abundance!
We'd like to be an example and inspiration to other people - we want to LEARN and demonstrate eco-construction, gardening, farming, animal care, alternative energy, woodland management, water management etc. etc. The list is long and we are COMPLETE beginners in everything we've taken on here - learning as we go and a lot by the "trial and error"-method! =)
It's time to heal the planet - and ourselves. It is time to BE the change!
We are completely off-grid: our electricity comes from the sun, the water from the mountain springs and streams, the veggies from the garden, the fire from our woods - and although we're far from self-sufficient yet - that's our aim.
We enjoy working hard as much as taking our time and chilling out. We'd like to invite people who are motivated, independent, creative, honest and eager to learn. We are humble people willing to learn from you too.
One of the ideas we have to make an income is to set up a basic but cozy donation based campsite. We'll have a tipi and a yurt to start with and hopefully more permanent structures like little hobbit homes in the future. We'll offer people the opportunity to experience and enjoy life on the farm as well as creating a beautiful mountain retreat with walking (maybe even mountain bike) trails and natural swimming pools - and ponds filled with fish where you can catch your own dinner!
The next, most urgent project will be the construction of the camping facilities. The compost toilet will be built with lime and bottles, recycled wood and old windows - and the shower will be a spiral of recycled beer bottles with lime mortar. We like the word "UP-cycle" instead of "re-cycle"!
Also you'll be asked to help take care of the animals (chickens, ducks, geese, pigs... cat and dogs), work in the garden, babysitting, plumbing, upgrading your own camp ....you name it! You really gotta become Jack of all trades living this life and that's part of the fun! If you've got any special interests like building biogas digesters or wood carving, stone rolling or whatever - you'll get the chance to make your own little projects too.
We never work on a precise schedule. We'll give ourselves and yourself the freedom to decide daily what needs to be done... Of course it has to be a good deal for everyone and if it doesn't feel fair we need to learn to speak up.
ACCOMODATION AND FOOD:
We have 2 caravans available for volunteers and lots of space if you want to pitch a tent, with compost toilets and solar shower.
You can charge your mobile phone and lap-top on our solar system and we have internet to share.
We are 10 minutes driving off road (30min walking...fast!) to the nearest village with a (few) cafe(s) and a little grocery shop and free (faster than our) internet - and about 30 minutes to the bigger towns with whatever else you need. We usually go shopping in one of the bigger towns every week or so - if you don't have your own means of transport you'll be depending on our timing. Otherwise if you want you can always borrow one of our mountain bikes!
We're mostly surrounded by wilderness - good for those who enjoy walking and exploring. One of the villages close by has a beautiful castle well worth visiting. We are also surrounded by a beautiful community of people so things never gets boring around here, with regular big lunches and gatherings - and if you enjoy playing music we have friends who'd love you to just drop in at night for a little jam session!
Long term volunteers are very welcome!
Also we'd ask you not to bring and use any chemicals (shampoos etc) in our grey water - natural home made soap (good for body and hair) can be bought for a small price from us, or we could even show you how to make your own!
Also we don't really believe in insurance so if this is important to you please manage yourself.