This is an ‘off-the-grid’ 1,5 ha of land with many micro-climates at the foot of the Serra da Estrela, National Park, Central Portugal.
The aim for this site is to turn into an edible forest garden to produce botanical plants for medicinal, culinair and cosmetic natural use and thus also creating an income for a new to be eco-community. Maybe than some day this will also be an Educational and Retreat Center.
It has an abundance of water: waterfalls, a stream running through the complete property, which has small and larger plunge pools, a water mine, irrigation cave, solid granite irrigation channels (levada’s), springs and other permaculture desirable features: terraces for agriculture, natural water source, plenty of sunshine per year, a forest area, many living space for creativity and community buildings and homes, fruit trees, animals, bee keeping, etc.
A one man attempt (Jeroen, 1964) from Amsterdam the Netherlands, trying to live in a more sustainable way. I live here alone with my cat Doerak.
The next step in the Permaculture Design is to closely observe this location how it dictates the need for elements to be arranged so they can create functional interconnections.
Projects can be an outcome from Permaculture Design, building green and the edible forest garden. But there are also some ‘grey’ building and other not expected jobs and tasks going on. We are ‘off-the-grid’, so we manage our own water distribution, renewable energy sources and distribution, landscaping, fire prevention, etc.
So there are many larger and smaller interesting projects going on all the time, all year long. If you are interested, please come and bring your humour, joy and skills!
For this start-up stage I am looking for a strong and multi-skilled eco-volunteer who is willing to pioneer and is enthusiast and not afraid of being in a rustic place of hardly no utilities yet (off-grid), but has all the opportunity to bring his/her ideas into practice.
Profile and skills:
- Rustic environment: You want and can expect to be out of your comfort zone!
- Dedicated (eco)volunteer (or have a basic knowledge of permaculture);
- Knowledge of several communication methods, working as part of a team
- Skilled DIY or willing to learn on the job;
- Green builder (or interested and willing to learn)
- Can help (vegetarian) cooking (no vegan), once a week meat or fish;
- Non smoker, no drugs (also no marihuana), no alcohol (Please ask me why and I can explain if this is a no go for you);
- Open- and eco minded;
- Big sense of humour ;)
- Flexible (I do not always know the next step in building...);
- Creative in re-using and coming up with solutions;
- Harmonious environment: here is NO place for dominant, ego-centred, narcissi, or sarcastic characters.
Your work in exchange for food and shelter will gain you a life time experience in exchanging culture, skills in building green, permaculture design, farming, DIY, social interaction, communication, community living, cooking, language practice, etc. It is an adventure and you will never forget it!
You can camp almost anywhere on the property. We have permanently a summer tent and a professional outdoor (winter) hammock available for you incl. sleeping necessities, mosquito net and rain tarp.
In the near future there will be a Yurt and/or dormitory.
It is inclusive three meals a day and non-alcohol drinks, generally vegetarian. Once a week we can have fish or meat. Fresh and bedrock clean/clear stream water all day long!
Toilet and shower: At the current moment we are constructing the Dry Compost Toilet little house. This will also accommodate a warm water wood burner shower. Meantime we use passive solar with a garden hose.
Breakfast and hot espresso coffee or herbal tea at 07:30 each day. We start normally around 09:00 and work 5 hours more or less excluded a lunch break. Your two days off are preferably in the weekends so that we can work together during week days. We cook together or rotate.
Also I'd ask you not to bring and use any chemicals (tooth paste, deo, shampoos etc) in my grey water. I make my own natural home made toothpaste, deodorant, body lotion and soap. It all can be bought for a small price from me, or I could show you how to make your own.
Once a week we have pizza-evening and a few times a week movie-night or we go for a swim. I often also visit local markets and/or do some sightseeing myself; You can join me on your days off or after 'working hours'.
Cafe, bar and a small supermarket are all a 5 minute walk in the nearest village. Halfway there is a large pool from the Fire Brigade in which you can swim. At the village there is a football field, but needs some TLC. A hospital is 10 minutes away and numerous shops, bars, cafe’s, restaurants, markets, supermarkets, swimming pools, banks, doctors, library etc. are all in the nearest town, 15 minutes away by car. Local handicrafts including handmade cheese and wool blankets.
Serra da Estrela Natural Park – 101 thousand hectares of protected area (the largest in Portugal) encompassing the highest point in Portugal where there is a huge diversity of flora and fauna with an ‘alpine’ landscape. There are fabulous pure lakes to swim in, hiking and cycling trails, a ski resort and museums locally. Taken from the local tourist board description: “The magnificent landscape of the mountain is the natural habitat of mammals like wolves, boars, otters, foxes, genets and wild European rabbits. They are overflown by birds such as golden eagles and common buzzards, peregrine falcons, Eurasian eagle-owls and black kites.”
Safety, insurance: You need to have your own travelling insurance covering health care and injuries. It is at your own risk. For working in the field you need long trousures, closed boots (wellies are great!) that also support your ankles and have good grip, working gloves and a hat against the sun. A headlamp for the night (also includes red light), a summer rain coat, and some warm clothes for the chilly evening and nights are also recommended.
When can you visit this host?