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Av
All Year: Yes
Area (ha): 2
Persons: 3
Category: Organic Farmstay
Host ID: 39658
Country: Portugal

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Last Updated: October 21, 2016

DESCRIPTION:
I moved to Portugal in 2010,to start a new chapter in my life.I'd just started a family,and felt that a quiet rural existence would be perfect for raising small children.

So,my partner and I threw everything we owned(well,almost everything)in the back of a caravan and set off.It was to be a while before we found a place that suited us,but in the meantime I got busy(through sites like this actually!)working on peoples farms for food and accommodation,and learning new skills(I'd never picked up a chainsaw before)while we searched for our earthly paradise.

Eventually,we found it.A small quinta of two hectares nestling on a hillside just up from a beautiful little village(Av)where two rivers meet and join.

This means we have a river beach(VERY important in the summer!)less than 15 minutes walk from our land,a couple of cafes(open all year),two little supermarkets,a bank with a cash machine(the two don't always go together here!),and a pharmacy if you ever need one!

Since we first arrived on our land we have endured a huge forest fire(first time in 50 years my place had burnt,my local friend told me!),and unfortunately a separation,which leaves me trying to run this place on my own!

This is where you come in!

TYPE OF HELP:
builders,gardeners,landscapers,eco builders(compost toilets,solar showers etc),cooks,bottle washers,and labourers.

HELP:
The house on the land(ok,barn type thing)needs renovating and although I have recently turned my hand to roof building,it's all a lot easier with a few extra pairs of hands!
The idea in the end is to create a centre for seminars and workshops,with rustic showers,camping facilities and kitchens.Anyone who comes to help will be given the opportunity to come to something of their choice when we are up and running(for free of course!)

At the same time(and at various times of the year)I need to harvest and prepare my Olives,and grapes,trim and prune fruit trees,cut the grass, manage my little piece of woodland, control the #&*! brambles which grow everywhere(especially where I don't want them!)look after my animals,and maintain the water channels and terraces.(there are also a thousand other little jobs that have slipped my mind for now.....you get the idea.

* I do occasionally use cement(shock,horror)but in general I am trying to keep the place as organic and sustainable as possible.

I use no artificial fertilizers or pesticides on my land and all cleaning products are bio-degradable,as they all go directly onto my land or down into the rivers.

HELP:
I need people who have a sense of humour with a positive 'can do' attitude.The work will be physically,and mentally challenging for the most part,so people unafraid of hard work and who relish a challenge are essential.

It can be difficult for people to get used to physical work in extreme heat so most of the hard work will be done in the morning,with gentler jobs in the afternoon or evening if necessary.

LANGUAGES SPOKEN:
English,a little Portuguese,and a little French

ACCOMADATION:
unfortunately for now there isn't any!I live in my caravan with no electricity or running water,and that's how you'd have to live too.

There are plenty of lovely spots on my land to put a tent,or for small stays(of up to a week)there is a spot next to my land where you could park a van or truck.

Washing yourself is done from a cold water tank,we collect drinking water from the village(10 minutes down the hill-but the water is straight out of the hillside,cool,sweet and containing no chemical additives :),and for more serious toilet considerations we use compost pits in the ground(one of the first jobs this summer is to build a compost toilet!)A nice lady in the village will do clothes washing loads for 4 a time(at your expense,I'm afraid)

Don't let any of this put you off.I've been living this way for several years and I'm still alive!Also,conditions here are certainly no worse than your average summer music festival.

WHAT ELSE:
because,as I've said above,the quinta is an organic one,only biodegradable toothpaste,soap,shampoo,washing powder etc will be acceptable,and that stuff is hard to find here in Portugal.Please bring your own!

I will be providing two meals a day.Breakfast and a big dinner at the end of the day.Lunch never seems to be a big thing for me as it's usually too hot to eat much(Although if you're going out for a dinner somewhere a lunch can be provided instead)

Things can be a little flexible,as long as we get 5 hours work done a day during the week!Saturday and Sunday are your own.
When not working,you are free to enjoy my quinta,there are beautiful walks to villages further up into the Estrela mountains.With a car you are only an hour away from Portugals famous university town, Coimbra,or about an hour and a half from the seaside towns of Figuera Da Foz or Aveiro. It's an incredible place, just take a quick look at my short video shown below and I hope you'll agree.

Feel free to contact me for more information,or with any questions you might have.

A LITTLE MORE INFORMATION: no internet,so I can take a while to reply to emails!!please allow about two weeks for a reply.It's slow,I know,but I will respond!thanks we have pets,non smokers preferred :)

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