If you´re looking for a place to learn the true meaning of self-sufficiency and a sustainable lifestyle, get in touch with Casa do Burro. What drives most people to WWOOF is the desire to learn absolutely everything about running a farm. WWOOFers thrive and learn from following in farmers’ footsteps. We dig our hands into the earth and cultivate crops naturally, we help nurture the animals that work with us side by side and, in the end, enjoy the fruits of our labor, a bountiful harvest that provides fuel for our tired bodies.
But there’s much more to running a farm. At Casa do Burro, hard work translates into a variety of tasks that give WWOOFers first-hand experience in living sustainably. Our latest ongoing project is a newly built house and outdoor compost toilet, constructed almost entirely out of natural existing resources. Within a few short months, WWOOFers, along with the farmers, built a house from the ground up with sticks, clay, stone and tile. We mixed sand from the land with water to make clay and cement, creating the foundation and walls of a now proudly-built home. We laid down stone floors and neatly crafted wall mosaics, used colorful glass bottles to create beautiful light through our hand-crafted “windows,” and utilized recycled roof tiles for a natural, Algarve-style roof. Most everything is done by hand and from what’s found in the backyard, with a little guidance, but mostly encouraged by a creative freedom and trust in our abilities. With many WWOOFers on the farm, our daily tasks change and we can try our hand at everything: baking bread from scratch using our hands and an outdoor, clay oven, conserving vegetables and making fruit jams, helping to make goat cheese, herding over 25 feisty, adorable goats, and making use of a green thumb (or learning to find yours) in the garden. The farmers and WWOOFers work together, learning from each other. Best of all, the hard work never goes unappreciated and one of Dani’s delicious dinners is always ready on the table at the end of the day. At Casa do Burro, everything is accomplished with hard work and a smile. It’s the true meaning of a happy, sustainable lifestyle.
Victoria, November 2010 WWOOFer