We came to central Portugal in the summer of 2014, having fallen in love with this beautiful place. We - Leon (South African) and Claudia (English) - left our old lives in Turkey and London respectively, to renovate the quinta. In 2 years we have rebuilt the house, built up a successful business in our self-catering apartment, started our kitchen garden, and are now busy developing our plans for the 4+ hectares of riverside terraces and woodland that we call our home. It is a wonderfully tranquil spot, overlooking a tributary of the Mondego river. We spend our full days looking after the kitchen garden, the dogs, cats and numerous ducks and chickens, and our three alpacas, but are conscious that we need help to build on our work to date.
Day to day volunteer work will include cleaning & feeding on the duck terraces, animal management and general garden watering & weeding. Previous experience using a strimmer would be an advantage. We would like to focus on bigger projects, examples include; completing the construction of a hugel bed and vegetable garden on one large terrace, where we also hope to incorporate a natural irrigation system; constructing a wooden shade deck on the front terrace; clearing the debris of wood from the riverside, for use in the hugel. We do a lot of composting, including hot composting, which involves a fair bit of physical labour! However, we will never expect anyone to do any work we are not prepared to do ourselves.
We are working towards an element of self-sufficiency, growing our own food. We are interested in many principles of permaculture and are looking to implement more. We do not use pesticides on any part of the quinta. Anyone with a passion for and/or knowledge of permaculture would be a bonus, as we are keen to exchange ideas on composting, bio-char making, etc etc.
Working Hours: 25 hours a week, usually 5 hours a day for 5 days, then 2 days off. Flexibility to make up for lost hours due to bad weather is required!
Meals: We eat mainly vegetarian, but occasionally fish, and our own ducks & chickens.
Accommodation: 2 singles (sgl bed plus double blowup mattress on the floor) or 1 double (blowup mattress on the floor) in a converted stone shed. Lavatory, sink, shower en suite. Wifi is included.
(Please note: You would need to have your own travel and health insurance as we do not provide this.)
When can you visit Quinta do Pisao ?