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Marvao
All Year: Yes
Area (ha): 2
Persons: 2
Category: Organic Farmstay
Host ID: 94459
Country: Portugal

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Last Updated: February 16, 2020

We are a Spanish- Portuguese couple with two children (4 and 2 years old). We speak Spanish, Portuguese, English and a bit of French.

We are developing a design for sustainability project in the border between Spain and Portugal, between Marvao and Valencia de Alcantara.

It is a great place for learning and sharing your knowledge about permaculture design and practice, bio-construction, energy systems, gardening, self sufficiency, and zero-waste living solutions.

We also see this place as part of nature's circle of abundance where every person who join can share her or his gift or, if still don't know, discover his or her gift by beeing in contact with nature and practice activities of diferent kinds.

We also feel part of a global movement of ecoliving and spaces for resilient living. We see this place as a Sanctuary of Peace with Nature where we can live the Story of Interbeing.

We began our project in February 2015. Since then we have achieved lots: we have planted the first 200 trees of a forest garden, seeded a family vegetable garden based on sinergetic agriculture, set a vermicomposting spot, constructed and installed a water storage and management system (two ponds, one swale, storage tanks, and a hydraulic ram), and installed a photovoltaic-based energy system. We have also rebuilt a little stone house and build a round house made of straw bales and clay, where we currently live.

Next task we want to achieve are:
- Maintenance in the forest garden: mulching, water, weeding...
- Vegetable garden maintenance: harvesting, planting, seed keeping...
- Build a bioseptic water treat plant.
- Build the chicken place.
- Swales design and implementation

We have hosted more than 20 volunteers and we love the experience.

We prefer volunteers stay with us for a minimum of 14 days, because this allows you to get to know us and the way we work. We would like to have also long term volunteers that can involved more in the project and being responsible for one or more tasks.

The roulette where we lived for two years is available for volunteers stay. Is very comfortable but have no heater inside.

You can also provide your own space for sleeping. We have a campsite space with a tent and you can also bring your own. There is enough space for a van or caravan if you bring one. We have showers with hot water in summer time (for winter, heating system is coming) and a compost toilet.

If you can't come here but still want to collaborate and help out, you can help in the following ways:

- Help reviewing the English version of our web site.

- Help editing a promotional video of the project.

We try to be synchronised with nature. We aim to adapt our life to celebrate the cycles of the Sun, the Moon and the seasons of the year. A typical day starts when the sun rises. We practice an hour of yoga and after that we have breakfast. During the morning, we focus on the everyday maintenance (which is a constant and ongoing priority) and any specific tasks that we are working on. We have lunch at around 2pm and rest until around 5pm (in summer) when it is not too hot. During the evening we do more light jobs or we enjoy free time. We have dinner at sunset. We eat vegetarian food only.

The farm is situated into the Taejo International Park. It is a very wild area, full of animals and plants native to the Mediterranean forest. It is a perfect place for watching birds, such as eagles or vultures. Near by, there are also many sacred and ancient places, such as dolmens (megalithic tombs), and menhirs (large upright standing stones). There are also plenty of other activities to do in your free time, such as: riding a bike, climbing, taking a dip in the natural swimming pool near the border to Portugal, or visit the nice Portuguese villages of Marvao and Castelo de Vide. This is also a very special place if you are interested in astro-tourism.

The nearest town is 1km away, we are 6km far from Valencia de Alcántara (Spain), where there are all the services you can need, and 10km far from Marvao (Portugal) one of the most important tourist atraction in the area.

With a normal car, you can get to our place very easily. By public transport, there is a daily train that connects Valencia de Alcantara with Madrid, and also daily buses to Caceres city. If you come from Portugal, Castelo de Vide and Portalegre are the nearest villages that have buses to Lisbon and other big cities.

What to bring:
- Work gloves
- Work shoes. Rubber boots in winter would be a very good idea.
- A torch
- Tent, van or car to sleep in
- Sleeping bag
- Sun cream and a hat in summer
- Natural laundry powder. Please, bring only NATURAL soap, shampoo, toothpaste, etc.

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