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Host AG046

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Would you like to help us on our farm with our permaculture gardens, trees, horses and animals? Do you enjoy working in a team and have a good sense of humour? Come join us on our eco-project!

When applying as a volunteer with us at Vale Grifo, please include your hoped for start and end dates in your initial contact, please be aware that we appreciate volunteers to stay and contribute to our farm for AT LEAST A MONTH OR MORE! Whilst we try to answer all enquiries as quickly as possible, it can take a week for us to answer you by email, please telephone us if you are really interested and you have not heard from us.

Volunteers with initiative and a great attitude to life, are needed to really HELP us on our working farm, whether carrying out tasks on their own or in a group. Vale Grifo has 7 hectares of arable land that is used for grazing and also has a further 5 hectares of hillside scrub land. Right now we are: clearing land of bushes, gathering grass, pruning trees, splitting logs, maintaining the electric fences, painting buildings and weeding the permaculture garden, as well as working on our other projects.

Here at Vale Grifo you will enjoy good company, local food and a great mixture of english and portuguese culture.

- We have 25 horses, 9 dogs, 4 sheep, 3 pigs, bantams, chickens, turkeys, ducks and worms that require our daily care. They need feeding and mucking out everyday. When we need more manure for the gardens we bring more horses into the stables! The electric fences and wooden fences are maintained on a weekly basis.

- There is a permaculture garden with raised beds and it is our hope that the family and volunteers will be able to grow enough vegetables, fruit and herbs for the whole year. Veggies are always needing to be planted as do fruit trees and a herb garden. We have built some U-Bahn-Holzkultur gardens to complement the raised beds we have already, also we are preparing and sporing mushroom beds and logs. Watering in the summer is done in the evening when evaporation is at its lowest.

- Weeding is a regular and repetetive task, whether in the gardens or clearing electric fences (all 5km of them!). What cannot be fed to the animals is composted for later use.

- 300 trees (olive, fig, almond, orange, carob, quince, apple, pomegranate, pear, peach, plum) need pruning, harvesting and watering depending on the seasons.

- We have free range chickens that give us eggs (when we can find them!). We have a big coop where they roost at night. We also have a trailer that has been converted into a mobile chicken coop.

- We re-use and re-cycle as much as possible - vegetable waste is given to the pigs or worms or even composted, manure from the horses and other animals is used in the gardens and fields. Any old planks, pallets or other materials are turned into woodsheds, firewood or framework for other constructions. Rubbish is separated into packaging, glass, metals and paper and goes to the recycling bins in the village.

- You will be able to enjoy our home smoked fish, ham and cheeses as at Christmastime 2012 we built a cold smoker to preserve meat, fish, eggs and cheese. Our home smoked bacon, tuna and salmon is AMAZING!

- We are in the process of extending the communal area on the Eco-house using second hand poles and palettes.

- There are 5 hectares of scrub land with rocks that needs clearing and turning to better use. (Don`t worry we hire a bulldozer and driver to do the really hard work.). Our project for this land is to plant Cork oak, Carob Bean and Avocado trees and put a flock of sheep and some beehives on it. There is also another building on this land that needs renovating in the near future.

ACCOMMODATION IS OFF-GRID:
We have a campervan and two separate buildings that our volunteers stay in: Casota and Eco, volunteers can also bring their own live-in vehicles and in the summer months volunteers can put up and stay in tents should they wish. Volunteers with their own live-in vehicle or tents use the Eco-house amenities.
The Campervan is an old horse transporter with incorporated living, it has a double bed and is located on the main yard, it is on mains lighting and near the farms public toilet.
In Casota we have a bunkbed for two volunteers there is solar lighting and a wood burning heater, it has its own outhouse with composting toilet and solar-water-butt shower.
The Eco-house bedroom sleeps four volunteers in bunkbeds, there are solar panels for light and the bedroom has a wood-burning heater. It has its own well where water is brought up by hand in a bucket, there is an outdoor patio with firepit, chairs, table and a lounger, the kitchen is used and shared by all the volunteers and has a dining area, a gas powered fridge and cooker - a wide range of food is provided for you to cook for yourselves (we welcome omnivores and vegetarians). The Eco-house also has its own outhouse with composting toilet. There is an open air shower with solar-water-butts and an old portuguese scrub tub for washing clothes.
The Outhouses have compostable toilets that are to be maintained on a fortnightly basis by the volunteers.
You are expected to keep both the inside and outside of your living space tidy and help maintain a clean and pleasant atmosphere in all the communal living areas. There are power points at the main farm to charge mobile phones and laptops, Wi-fi is available in the local village. THERE IS NO WI-FI OR INTERNET AVAILABLE ON THE FARM.
We have a NO smoking policy within our houses, outbuildings and near our animals.

YOU WANT TO VOLUNTEER WITH US?
This project is suitable for volunteers traveling on their own, two or more individuals traveling together. Couples (sorry no children) stay in Casota sleeping on a bunkbed. The Eco-house bedrooms is shared with up to four volunteers staying together. Unfortunately we cannot accept any volunteers with pets due to the amount of animals we already have on the farm.
Vale Grifo normally hosts an average of one to three volunteers at a time, maximum six.

Volunteers staying with us help on six mornings from 08.30 till 13.30 and three afternoons from about 17:00 to 18:00 to feed the animals.

Check out the summer of 2015 on this clip that was filmed and produced by one of our WWOOFers... https://vimeo.com/139144147

ABOUT US:
The family is Anglo-Portuguese, my sister and I have been living on the farm since 1983. Originally our parents bought the farm and retired here with the idea of becoming self sufficient. We welcome volunteers that are happy, friendly people and as we enjoy company you might sometimes be invited to evening meals at the farm house.

WHERE WE ARE...
Vale Grifo is situated on local bus routes giving easy access to beaches and local towns. There are also bicycles for volunteers to borrow.
This is an incredibly beautiful and tranquil area within a stones throw of the natural park. There is scenic walking from the farm and fantastic surfing on local beaches, with the bonus of great night life in Lagos, Luz and the nearby villages.

WHAT ELSE...
Please make sure your travel insurance covers farm work (and horse riding as there may be opportunities to ride our horses). Should you ride one of our horses riding hats will be supplied.

We would be happy to answer any questions you might have.

Host availability

When can you visit this host?

December
January
February
March
April
May
June
July
August
September
October
November
Host information
Region
Algarve
Area
12ha
Animals
Horses, Dogs, Sheep, Chickens, Turkeys, Ducks, Pigs and Worms
Languages
English, Portuguese and a little German
Diet
Meat, Fish and Vegetables
Ecological
83%
Preferred length of stay
1 month or more
We grow and collect seeds for our own use
Yes
We produce renewable energy (wind, sun, etc)
Yes