|| UPDATE: It's planting and weeding season! If you enjoy these calm and relaxing activities, our farm is waiting for you! ||
I'm Lucas, 27 years old, my parents are German, but I was born on this farm and raised all my life in Portugal.
Since I was little I learned a bit about farming and in my early twentieths I started to get enthusiastic about permaculture. Since 2012 I'm living full-time on the farm (except for a year in 2014) doing some projects at our place and in other farms around us.
Rafa (25) is my girlfriend and she is living with me since 2012. She is an amazing cook and very talkative! She's always happy to share stories and knowledge about portuguese culture.
My sister Leonie (19) is living with us in part-time, since she's studying Biomedical Engineering at Coimbra's University.
The house has a garden right at the entrance, some other gardens around the house, and a 1000m2 land that we are taking care since April, where I'm creating an hugelbeet and making some experiences to improve the soil.
Probably when you arrive here we'll own a bio shredder that will help us improving the soil.
Apart from our house there is another one 100 m away, that it's my parents house.
Right now my mother, Ires, lives there with her boyfriend, Rolf, in the upper floor, in an independent "apartment". She recently moved in again and she's improving her house - so if you have some masonry skills you can also give her a little hand!
Then, in the other division lives my father, Andreas (64) and Lutz (74) a old captain that came last year and decided to stay for a while. My father has a lot of health problems and can't help much at the farm, but he was the mentor of all this project, since he built a big part of this farm with his own hands. He is a civil engineer and he knows a lot about farming.
Both my parents and sister speak German, English and Portuguese!
=================== Long Term Projects ===================
=== Garden ===
- Planting new plants
- Watering the garden
- Weeding the garden
- Picking vegetables/fruits (on the right time!)
=== Clay Oven ===
We want to have a clay oven to bake our own bread. Soon we get interested volunteers in this project we can get the material and start doing it!
=== Compost ===
I'm making many experiments to improve the soil quality, so we often cut brambles, to compost it. We would also like to built a compost toilet and work on composting "humanure" :)
=== Jams and Conserves ===
During the summer we should find new and good ways to preserve our vegetables and fruits. We can freeze them, make jams, pickles and sauces. It’s a very important task that needs to be executed perfectly. If the jars aren’t well washed and sterilized all your work goes to the waist!
=== Geodesic Bamboo Greenhouse ===
This will be the next big project - that should be finish at the end of summer - so we can extend our vegetable production through winter!
* * * * * * * * * * * * * *
* * * volunteering time * * *
This can be different from volunteer to volunteer. When we need to teach you something you don't know it will take us time, so you will do 5h or 6h depending on how much you can do in that time if you do 5 hours you will work 5 days a week and if you do 6h then 4 days a week.
So if you are not afraid of getting your hands dirty we would love to hear from you! You don't need to have any special skills, but you might leave with some :)
****** Minimum Stay 1 Week *********
* * * Rules for your stay * * *
- At the moment we use propane to heat up our shower water and water from the company, that means that the shower can't be running for longer than 5-10 minutes for each person a day.
- We need responsible helpers that are proactive and autonomous! We try often to have meetings and clarify all the tasks that you can do. Then you should feel free to do what you think it’s the most important tasks! That means that we need creative, honest and committed people to work with us!
- The characteristic that we give the most value is the ability of using your own head to find solutions and to improve yourself and the place where you are. So please consider this for your decision.
- If you have any doubt, even if you think is a stupid thing: ASK! You will always find an answer; and if you ask twice is fine too!! :)
- You need to be truly devoted to the cause – volunteering work - because we're not an hotel, we are a farm where hard work has to be done!
* * * To Bring With You * * *
- Every volunteer must bring their own working boots/shoes, working clothes, some warm clothes because the nights are cooler and swimsuit.
- Every volunteer must bring a flashlight
- If you have a special health need, please tell us about that and bring your own medication. If you want to buy it in Portugal, please inform us in advance, because we need to translate/identify the name to find the right one!
- If you have a special food need, please, tell us about that and, if it’s still on our budget we can buy it just for you. If you need to eat caviar every morning, we are sorry but you should bring your own! :)
# # # ABOUT THE PLACE # # #
In our place you can find an artificial lake, a little bamboo forest, a little stream, many gardens, a bath tub that you can heat up making a small fire underneath it, an outside kitchen, a “swim pool” – it’s a 2 meters deep water tank where we use to swim, many places to set a tent or to sleep outside.
At the moment we have 2 cats, Tita and Yoshi.
My father has 3 sheep and around 20 chickens/rosters/chicks. The chickens run free in their yard and the sheep spend the day in long leaches, otherwise they would eat everything.
Our farm is just 17 km from an important city - Coimbra. There you can visit the University - is one of the oldest in Europe in continuous operation, it was established first in 1290! To get there you have a bus directly from our village (you only have one 3 times per day) or another bus which stops is 4km away, but there are several buses every day. If someone is going in that direction maybe you can get a ride, although the trip by foot is lovely!
There are a lot of other sightseeing's like the ruins from 'Conimbriga' 13 km from us. This is one of the largest settlements of Romans in Portugal. We also have a mountain near by - SERRA DA LOUSÃ - and 17km from us you can find schist villages. You can also go for a hike in nature. We also have a nice river that has very clear water, where you can swim in the Summer - 18 km from us.
Here we speak Portuguese, German and English, and we are always happy to practice these languages with you.
We both teach traditional dances from all around the world - folk dances! We would be very happy to make some dance evenings with you!
Rafa is portuguese, and she knows a lot about traditional portuguese culture since dishes/food, songs, crafts, etc.
Lucas knows a lot about permaculture and traditional techniques for taking care of land and animals.
º º º Production º º º
Fruits (apples, pears, plums, peaches, apricots, grapes, Kiwis, oranges, lemons, strawberries, raspberries, figs, kaki...)
Nuts (walnut, almond)
Vegetables (tomatoes, zucchini, potatoes, beetroot, cucumber, beans, peas, celery, eggplant, chard, rhubarb, pumpkin, spinach, peppers, cabbage, onions, garlic ...)
*** Accommodation ***
Volunteers would stay in a mezzanine, over the living room, and share the kitchen and bathroom with us.
At the mezzanine we can set the number of mattresses that we want and there is a small shelf, a computer and a lamp. It's quite simple, but very cosy!
We usually have three meals per day: breakfast, lunch and dinner. Snacks are on you, but you are welcome to eat fruits and veggies from the garden with moderation.
We also have tents to borrow if you would like a different experience outside!