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help exchange   Host 31779
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All Year: January-November (incl.)
Area (ha): 25
Persons: 4
Category: Organic Farmstay
Host ID: 31779
Country: Portugal

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Last Updated: October 25, 2017

This 25 Ha (60 acre) hillside Quinta is composed of about 18 Ha of forested and undeveloped/semi prepared terraces that need 'reclaiming from the wild' ( which they have fallen since the last owner left them around 20 years ago, having created the basic framework...then sadly departing this realm!). The quinta may fairly claim to have the best views of the Vale de Gardunha (IMHO) as it is the only property with such a superb hillside position and number of vantage points!

There are the 5 large terraces of about 1 Ha each (the largest probably 1.5+) which are flat, but need some serious 'tidying up' and preparing for next season's planting and growing (according to what funds will allow us to run to)... We may look to be planting numerous new fruit trees as many have been lost over the last 15-plus years to weather, neglect and some 'misappropriation' by local fire-wood gatherers!!

There is a lot of clearing and general preparation to do on the terraces, as well as copious amounts of 'forest management'.

All the tasks we have in mind seem equally urgent, and a number will require folks with genuine carpentry skills (mine are limited at best-- although my Father was a Carpenter you obviously don't simply get to be one via genetics or osmosis!)

We urgently have a chicken run and/or (ideally) a mobile style chicken house/ to build, and need to finish (?start!) work on a PROPER composting area.

We also plan to dig out areas to create one or more small/medium size charcas or 'lakes/ponds' (for 'water retention'/irrigation purposes mainly but also possibly for pisci-culture, if viable) and also to add some additional features that would be nice to have... BUT importantly we do need to create some good channels for seasonal rain run-off -- as this quinta has lots of water and this can lead to some areas becoming just too wet (slowly drowning for our cherry trees, for example).

The 'orange grove' is also in need of urgent attention with (experienced/knowledgeable and appropriately timed) pruning and land clearing needed.

Our mid- to longer-term plans include developing several micro/nano-hydro electricity generators, plus possible wind turbine/s construction to supplement create other alternative electricity sources around the land -- combined with eventually getting solar up an running (being a south-facing property) we would LOVE to get off-grid in the next year or two!

We also have some 'grand designs' to create some smaller Eco-dwellings for 'stay-overs', and perhaps a larger cob-based 'building' project (or two) in the coming year or so... So, we'd look forward to chat with experienced 'cobbers' about this idea!

Simple eco-toilet/shower construction another 'immediate-action' possibility... (if you have a tent/yurt or caravan/motorhome, and can rig-up your own 'facilities' it would be helpful!) We should be clear that things here are basic there is a supply of clean water, and if sited near enough we may be able to provide 'some' electricity, for basic needs (not heavy usage as it all runs out of one household supply -- and some contribution to costs would need to be negotiated!). If sited away from the main house, we envisage creating some simple facilities 'as we go' with visitors/helpers' assistance according to needs.

It's a hard job making ends meet when managing land this large and there is always another cost. This is why we no longer simply take people looking for a 'freebie' vacation in return for minimal work... Sorry if that sounds harsh, Let's just say thrice bitten...

For anyone interested in a farm stay there is a nominal 'requested donation' of 5 per day per person for 'emplacement' (your tent or motorhome or caravan) and any basic facilities used.

Internet use is charged at 1.50 a day and if large downloads are required we can only allow thees by arrangement/dependent on time of month as there is limited monthly bandwidth allowance.

If you would like to join us to eat (this typically includes simple breakfast, an early evening meal sometime between 16.30hr/19.00hr depending on work schedule), we ask for another 'daily donation' of 5 per person.
(Typically meals are vegetarian unless otherwise agreed.)

- If you are volunteering to do 'real' work (i.e. completing previously agreed tasks to an acceptable standard) and working for 4 to 6 hours per day then we will provide a simple continental style breakfast, and one substantial meal (by our standards) per day (timing as above) and provide coffee and tea making facilities -- and we will waive the 'table d'hote charge' per person/per day when completing at least 4 or more hours.

- If you have babies or children, and require us to provide food for them as well as yourselves, if they are under 8 we ask for a daily donation towards any snacking or food items of 2.50 per day (Children of 9 and older are also charged at the 5 rate)

- There is plenty of space for your tent/s, your campervan/motorhome or caravan! (NOTE: In other words: We assume typically you will provide your own accommodation when you visit.)

But, that said, there 'may' just be possibility of providing either some very basic 2-berth (or 2 adults one small child max) caravan accommodation for non-smokers, by agreement in advance, at a requested donation of 15 per night (payable in advance) -- PLUS meals if elected as described above (payable daily, previous evening, to allow meal planning) but we would need to discuss/agree accommodation requirements prior to agreeing a visit.)

We would ideally love to welcome families (our daughter is 10-and-a-1/2-years old and being home-schooled and so the company of other children is always a boon) -- and although we have suggested we can welcome up to 4 people -- this might equally be two couples plus kids, or two families with one or two children.

We do have electricity at the main house, we do not have TV, but we may be able to offer basic Internet connection for email checking/sending for limited periods at certain times according to demand and usage -- we can agree any cost attached to this in advance -- BECAUSE we get limited monthly bandwidth via mobile modems at present) -- Naturally, though, you'd be welcome to deploy your own dongle (3g/wi-fi connection), if you have one, as the reception seems excellent here!

We now have to require that you sign an acknowledgement that you have your own personal health insurance that covers any expenses should you suffer health issues whilst staying at the farm, and that you will not hold Quinta de Cima/us responsible if you happen to sustain an injury whilst on the premises.

There is also a statutory requirement that we obtain a photocopy/scan of your passport when you arrive.

Thank you very much for appreciating why these requirements are necessary. If you want more information or to clarify anything please do get in touch.

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