We moved from the UK to Azenhas Do Mar in 2016 to restore and develop an historic building and it’s land in this beautiful village. We have 1 hectare of steep exhausted vineyard, and a lot of ideas on how to regenerate the land with different zones and areas built using the principles of permaculture, including medicinal gardens; food forests; perennial vegetable gardens; olive grove and prairie. For now however the land is mostly covered in the infamous ‘invasive’ cane of the area – Aurundo Donax – which our chickens happily nest in.
There are 3 of us working on the land every day, with fixed daily tasks and specific ongoing projects. In the past year we’ve designed our land plan; built and planted our vegetable beds; planted our food forest; set-up our compost sites; and organised rain water collection/storage sites.
We all surf, so when the waves are good we put down our tools and go get some.
This year our larger projects will include restoring our dry stone boundary walls; improving our rainwater catchment, it’s storage and movement around the land; removing & harvesting areas of cane and building with it; developing our outdoor solar shower and toilet facilities; helping our grape vines to thrive; plantings and soil improvement; etc.
Ongoing day to day jobs include seed saving; cane chipping; collecting mulch; keeping the land tidy; watering; moving materials; path clearing; tending to our chickens; and of course help with the kitchen management.
We require WWOOFers who are fit and strong, most of the work you will be doing will be labour intensive but it can be done at your own speed. We are also looking for WWOOFers who have specific skills in trades such as carpentry; plumbing/hydro; building & construction; engineering; metal working; electrics (both off & on grid); etc. If you are able to bring some of your own trade tools with you this would be a bonus.
Our meals are quite varied, using the vegetables and produce from our land as much as possible they’re mostly vegetarian. We do occasionally eat meat and shellfish too, and can cater to your food preferences as necessary.
We have a 6 hour working day schedule, 5 days per week. The hours can be split given each days needs and potential (weather conditions, etc). Cooking and house management are outside of the work schedule, and we all chip in.
We have a camping area on our land, with a compost toilet and outdoor shower (fed by our well – it’s very refreshing!). We have some tents, but please bring your own camping gear if you have it. If you travel in your own van you’re welcome to stay in that, we have space for parking.
There is no AC electricity or mains water on site. We use solar energy (which is fine when the sun shines), ground water and collected rain water. The village water fountain down the road also supplies plenty of fresh drinking water. There is a bus stop directly next to us, which will transport you to/from Sintra (and onto Lisbon) or any of the other local surf spots (Praia Das Macas, Praia Grande, etc).
We require WWOOFers for a minimum 3 week stay, but will give preference to those that can stay longer (following a 2 week trial period – good for you/ good for us). We do not provide insurance, so we suggest you take this responsibility yourself. As a minimum, if you are a European citizen you should travel with your free EHIC card which will honour you emergency medical care should you need it.
We only speak English, and are trying hard to learn Portuguese. If you're able to help us with that we'll be forever grateful!
If you like to work hard, have a good sense of humour, a wise head, and love the sea and beach, then our project is the one for you.
Cheers! Dean, Alex, Jabs & Rudi
When can you visit this host?