GREETINGS to all those interested in natural building!
We are in need of help for the restoration of an ancient house of stone, clay and wood (raw materials obtained as much as possible in our farm / forest). We have some urgency, especially in the roof construction before winter arrives. All the work will be done using old techniques and we'll gladly provide you the knowledge of what is beeing done. Minimum time of stay: 16 days. working scheduale: 5 hours per day, 2 free days in each 7 days.
Please read ALL THE PROFILE to be completely informed of what are the conditions of volunteering in Quinta da Bazágueda. Especialy, keep in mind the following:
Quinta da Bazágueda is a very ancient farm. It's a farm, in it's true meaning, not a house with a garden or little field with crops. Beeing an ancient farm, it has very basic acomodation. The houses are from the 16th century or older, so they are cold in winter, of course. If you come in a rainy day, as in all rainy days, the farm work must go on and some of the tasks cannot be delayed. Also keep in mind that it's not possibly to make a specific food for you if you have a very diferent diet from "most" people. We always have vegetable soop, so if you're vegetarian you're welcome to come, but if the rest of the team is having meat, with plain rice you can have soop with rice, but not a specific dish just for you, unless you provide it. At last, keep in mind that the farm is ISOLATED. This means is 12 km from the nearest village! You can walk in or out of the farm as you want, but the farm only provides car rides to volunteers in the previously agreed days of arrival and departure. All other rides must be on agreement. Having this in mind, and to avoid further problems with desonest volunteers who do not read the profile fully, please read the full extent of it, including REFERENCES and, in case you want, make a hosting request or ask anything if you have doubts. We can assure, this will be a true WWOOFing experience, wich you cannot find in many places!
We're Fernando, Marta and Daniel, managing a very rural farm in the heart of Serra da Malcata.
The main produce of this 74 hectare farm, is goat keeping, but we've also several other animals, like pigs, chickens, turkeys, gooses, ducks, dogs, cats and so on. Also olives and some vegetables.
We provide simple accommodation in a rustic house, a caravan and plenty of space for camping and three meals daily. The farm is located within the Natural Reserve of Serra da Malcata in Penamacor, Castelo Branco, completely isolated. The main goal is to work with a view to the welfare of our animals and our family, trying to the maximum self-sufficiency. We have 160 goats "charnequeiras" (autochthonous breed from the region) living in free grazing, we have outdoor birds in our orchard, organic garden, Bizaros pigs and five Rafeiro do Alentejo dogs. All volunteers may have the opportunity to participate in the handling of animals, including milking the goats, for example.
We offer you the opportunity to join us for 3-16 weeks (may be longer) to participate in daily life on the farm. You're expectec to help in several tasks, depending on what is available at the moment. We are restoring some of the stone houses, in several states of condition. Some, almost from the ground, others just repairing the roof. All will be made with traditional techniques. There is also some vegetal production in wich you can help, and in November/December you can help in olive picking and olive oil production. Some days you may help with the goats also. As we are often busy with other work please be prepared to sometimes be working alone, if we have no other volunteers here. If you would like to come with friends, we can accommodate several volunteers, depending on conditions. There are allways things to be done, so you're wellcome anytime and also for long periods.
There are 2 rooms available in 400 years plus small typical stone country house, restored according to the original conditions. We can also dispose fold away beds. More places can be arranjed, if you're not too demanding in luxury! There's also lots os space for camping and you can bring a caravan too.
The farm is located in a Natural Reserve and you can use this as a base to explore Serra da Malcata, an unspoilt part of the Portuguese countryside. Hike up the River Bazágueda and visit old mill ruins. Walk in the hills, home of red, lynxs, woolfs, genets and wild boars and enjoy the stunning mountain scenery. Take the goats for a walk in the woods, side by side with native Portuguese shepherd dogs and you'll have an unforgettable experience. Back at home, cherish the view of the waterfront, feed the pigs, chickens and turkeys (endogenous breeds) , and, if you're lucky, you'll be able to feed some baby goats. Unwind and enjoy true nature. Bike riding and licended fishing are also allowed. We can and will certanly do some traditional homemade specialities. We also, depending on the season, make cheese for ourselves. We're now restoring some old country traditional houses maid of stone (schist) and using traditional materials and techniques.
In the freetime you can enjoy the river, bathing in pure water!
Conveniently located within half an hour drive of dozens of historic sites, you can visit Castle of Penamacor or the Medieval Villages of Sortelha, Sabugal, among others, and get a sense of the local flavor.
Step back in time and experience the simple pleasures of medieval lifestyle.
Read what Caroline Girard, one WWOOF who stayed here, states about the farm. This may help you to understand how the farm realy is:
"I stayed 2 weeks at Quinta da Bazágueda. Don't expect hot showers everyday, be prepared to climb up the hill to get some signal for your phone or to reduce your electricity consumption. Keep in mind that you will get dirty as you work on a farm and yes, sometimes it does rain and you have to go out with the goats and you will probably end up dirty AND wet. So bring good rubber booths and a raining coat!
If you keep all this in mind and come willing to step back in time then you will definitely have a great time at the farm. Fernando and Frederico take good care of the volunteers, they have a great sense of humour and you can talk about a lot of different topics with them. The tasks were diverse as well (pruning the olive trees, walking with the goats, preparing sausages,...).
The food was really nice as well, you will learn that you don't need fancy pots or fancy cooking accessories to prepare great dishes!
During you free days you can sit down, read a book and enjoy being far from our buzzing "civilisation" or hike in the surrounding mountains...
In a nutshell: highly recommendable experience, don't forget to come with an open-mind and ready to question your comfort standard and you will enjoy your stay at the farm. I am sure you will learn a lot and end up questioning our world as it is! "
Step back in time and experience the simple pleasures of an almost medieval lifestyle. ;)
Tips: Be prepared with a sleeping bag, working gloves and good walking shoes, especially if rainy weather is forecasted. We do not provide internet acess.
When can you visit Quinta da Bazágueda?