Here I am at my fifth Wwoofing, and my first in Portugal! (Yes there is no article #4 but I’m talking about it here)
Initially, I was thinking of using the Workaway platform to find a place where I could work in permaculture. Indeed, for the Wwoofing, it is necessary to pay a subscription for each country whereas Workaway makes it possible to search in the whole world by paying only once.
But after several contacts through the site and no response (5 projects contacted, a single return to say that the project was no longer active), I turned to the beautiful site of Wwoofing in Portugal to have a positive return in one day. I would say it was a sign for me to go to Casa dos Amigos!
So I went to the « region » of the Alentejo (the Tejo being a river, it is the southern part of the latter) that I quickly visited through Evora and Beja to land to Pereiro Grande. The Alentejo is a bit like the Portuguese Ardeche, full of alternative projects (including the famous Tamera) and a political orientation very left. In short, pretty nice 🙂
So I arrived on April 1st in the valley of Casa dos Amigos, the project of my host Michael, after 800m of sporty… descent. 12 hectares of land, a large part being a cork oak forest (a local speciality), a lake that was created at the beginning of the project, an old typical earthen house (Taipa), and calm.
For the « rest », a valley is being reforested with the planting of several trees (fruit trees or not), shrubs, bushes. There are also several vegetable gardens in permaculture, depending on the season (at summer in this region it can reach 50°…), a spring of drinking water, several caravans (including one that was entrusted to me), solar ovens without electricity, a low-tech washing machine, and six cats.
I arrived in early spring, there were lots of fields to clean in order to plant the next vegetables. In parallel I planted trees (of all sizes) almost every day and I hope to hear from them! Following a request from the Portuguese government to prevent fire risks, we also had to clean some of the wild vegetation very close to the house. Although the basic project does not really make sense (there are still monocultures of eucalyptus throughout Portugal), this will allow to have new land.
In short, this place is truly managed in permaculture mode and was very inspiring for me.
I had 3 great weeks and I thank Michael for his hospitality and all he transmitted me!
As usual I leave you with some links and several photos.
Casa dos Amigos :
Next step: … more Portugal 🙂