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help exchange   Host 24492
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All Year: Yes
Area (ha): 1
Persons: 1 or couples
Category: Organic Farmstay
Host ID: 24492
Country: Portugal

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Last Updated: June 24, 2017

Hi, we are Tom (48 from Belgium) and Blanche (49 dutch/spanish)We grew up in Belgium and Holland and live in Portugal for 22 and 14 years.Our children are: Michel (22) and Luka (10) We live in a small farm in a beautiful environment in the middle of Portugal close to the Serra da Estrela.We built our own tiny wooden house, cabin, tool shed and stables.We constructed a wooden platform with a tipi on top to house helpers. We are totally off the grid. Electricity comes from a small 2 panel solar system and we have our own well on top of the land so the water for all our use comes down with natural gravity.
We got 2 vegetable gardens and a big glasshouse, several (medicine) herb gardens and planted loads of fruit trees. We are planting a fruit forest garden and recently dug a huge pond for water storage.We made artificial wetlands to clean our greywater and are building a decent compost toilet now (while the one we use now is a very simple design). We also would like to built a hydro generator in the river to help filling up our batteries on rainy days (weeks).
We are turning the place into a permaculture based mini farm where a small group of people can live and work together in the most possible self sufficient way. Where we can look after eachother and enjoy a simple, but warm and rewarding lifestyle in which we keep our ecological footprint as low as possible. We keep milking goats and have many years experience with cheese making.. We have chickens, 5 dogs,4 cats, a potbelly pig, horses and guinea pigs.We also keep honeybees. We eat organic, vegetarian food and are slowly making our transition to vegan.
Tom is a barefoot specialist for horses. He makes the transition from iron horseshoes back to natural bare feet and makes them sound and healthy again. He saved many horses this way.And making a decent living with it too.
After trying to live more self-sufficiently as a family for some years we understood that our lifestyle is much more logical, sustainable and enjoyable if lived in a small group of several families and/or individuals. We are aiming for sharing the work and care for eachother as well as tools, cars and all other kind of materials.There are many forms of community possible, which we are interested to explore.
We have been working with WWOOFers and volunteers for 3 years non stop now and we are looking for a more equal and sustainable way of living and working together with other people.We would like to invite people who are looking for this lifestyle and want to stay with us for longer periods. People who are more independent than the average volunteer. . People that are ready to live in balance and peace with their environment, nature, other people and animals in SIMPLICITY. People who are ready to put our differences aside and focus on what we can achieve together.People who understand their own and other peoples need for privacy. People who allready have experience in this way of living and take responsability for their own life. This doesn't mean that you necesarily need to have lots of money and you also do not need to 'buy in' our project. We can speak about how to deal with these things. Maybe you want to settle temperarely (or for good) on our land and we will grow food together, maybe you want to buy land close to our farm and start to work and share together with us. On our land there are still two ruins for rebuilding and around our farm there are several plots for sale.
The environment is beautiful for walking, hiking, cycling etc.and there is a big foreign community of people settling in this area that are involved in creating a sustainable lifestyle, farming, permaculture, building with natural material, wool spinning, basket weaving, music, arts, pottery , Yoga, Tai Chi, natural medicine and healing, awareness, meditation, women- and men groups etc
Pls contact us if you are interested in our project.

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