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Alpedrinha
All Year: No
Area (ha): 2
Persons: 8
Category: Organic Farmstay
Host ID: 91649
Country: Portugal

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Last Updated: August 22, 2019

****STRAW BALE BUILDING PROJECT****

I live below the Gardunha mountains on a small organic quinta with olive trees and woodland. We're currently building a house on the footprint of an old brick barn. The building is part natural build, using earth plaster over straw bales, cob, cordwood etc.

So far the frame is up, the roof is on and the stem walls for the bales and cob are in place. I'm now looking for willing people who want to get stuck into the next stages with me and learn some building skills. This is not a course or a workshop, but there will be regular elements of teaching and guidance from experienced natural building teacher Barbara de Nova Leite. This is an opportunity to get hands-on natural build experience in a fun, relaxed environment without the expense of a course or workshop, and for me...I get the help that I need to move the build forward.

The next stages will involve a mix of elements including laying a concrete floor, making wooden frames for the bales, putting up the straw bale walls, making earth bag walls, mixing and applying earth plaster / cob, a bit of cordwood building and probably some other stuff that I've forgotten! Work is currently underway and will be ongoing into autumn. It's a project with an organic flow and no deadline, so helping hands will be welcome throughout, and I prefer a minimum stay of two weeks (there can be flexibility with this). I'm looking for volunteers with a positive outlook who are willing to get stuck into all types of work. You'll need to have a flexible approach because you'll learn whatever techniques we happen to be using at the time you happen to be here, so you need to be happy to contribute to all building tasks. Beyond building, there may be occasional work to do on the land, and we all pitch in with meal prep, cooking and clean up too. We usually work 8am-1pm five days per week, but it's flexible because sometimes we need to get work finished that will take longer, or sometimes the weather means we have to change plans.

Accommodation: itís simple! There are two basic caravans available and plenty of space here for tents amongst the olive trees and woodland, plus the basic facilities...outdoor compost toilet, clean running water, electricity and covered space (barn kitchen) with camping stove, fridge freezer and basic kitchen equipment. Tents / bedding can be provided if needed and camper vans are welcome.

Food: staples such as pasta, rice, beans, lentils, bread, eggs, milk etc plus seasonal fruit and veg from the local market will be provided, but not meat, chocolate, beer, wine, cheese etc. I'm happy to take you shopping to buy your own treats though!

Located in Central Portugal near to Fund„o and surrounded by a mix of agriculture and nature, the quinta is situated in a quiet valley below the Gardunha mountains. No shortage of hiking and wildlife-watching opportunities! If you want to explore the local area in your free time then youíll need your own transport as itís very rural.

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