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Arganil Municipality
All Year: Yes
Area (ha): 6. 6
Persons: 1 or 2
Category: Organic Farmstay
Host ID: 18666
Country: Portugal

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Last Updated: October 27, 2019

We are a young gay couple with low impact living ideas - working with goats to clean our lands and explore the mountains - construction in natural materials and have plans to conserve the traditional and sadly reclining numbers of local people engaging with agriculture.

At Quinta Libélula we are continuing our long term project to diversify and manage a mixed species forest to provide food, fuel, fodder while making provision to allow a healthy ecosystem to thrive by diversity.

In an area where that people are too old to work the land and the younger generation of Portuguese are in the city's, we are making an example of how something can thrive if it has good aims, and people work hard - man, woman, child, gay, straight, undecided, Portuguese, estrangeiro - these things don't matter - we are inclusive.

5 years into the project most of the house and forest was lost in the tragic wildfires of Central Portugal.

We immediately started a reforestation plan to take advantage of the clearer part of the land - 90% have survived and are thriving - Oak, Cederá, Birth, Cork oaks, Chestnut, Cherry,Almond Wall nut and Hazel.

Currently we are planning how to fix our hundreds of years old irrigation system - partially destroyed by the floods following the fire - thick high walls to keep rain water out, dams and pools to hold the fresh spring water, and levadas to direct the water to the places needed.

I have tought myself the basic stonework technique by working with local builders - excavating the stone from the mountain, grade the stones for use and building with a mix of soil and water.

My stonework is improving all the time and I feel I am now at a stage I want to share these skills using natural materials and hand tools.

We keep 10 organic goats that need daily free-range walking that will provide the fresh raw milk to nourish our souls.

We eat very well - using our own grown ingredients where possible - and feel food is the rewards of a hard day's work. Living comunal we would all take turns at cooking, and keeping things clean.

Soon we will be deciding which species of trees to plant and where to plant the coming autumn, finalise our water system, put the finishing touches to our house, organising the firewood, cleaning, harvesting and replanting the vegetable gardens.

We have a cool network of people locally even though we live isolated - our sister, nieces and nephews are close by in the village and we have the weird and wonderful set of alternative diggers and dreamers who we help and advise on a daily basis. Plus the wonderful Portuguese locals with their ancient knowledge of how these lands once were.

We are looking for people of an open heart who can give strength and force to our project, who want to be part of our family and experience our daily life.

Só if your intrigued and want to know more, just ask, Michael e João

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