Welcome to the first edition of the monthly gardening blog that will feature in Central Connect magazine in Portugal. The focus of this article and future articles will always lean towards the edible garden, known in portuguese as ‘A Horta’. To download your copy of the magazine, scroll to the bottom.
Here is my December gardening article for the central connect magazine. Summer has ended, the rains have started, and the cold is coming. This brings new tasks in the garden and on the homestead. Here is what we are up to at Keela Permaculture Farm this December.
In addition to our outside shower, we have an inside wood-powered shower in our greenhouse. This gives the beautiful feeling of showering outside in nature but inside in the warmth of the greenhouse. The hot water heater heats the greenhouse, and guests stay nice and warm.
If you would like to start or continue your Diploma in Applied Permaculture Design with the Permaculture Association you may do this at Keela Yoga Farm. We have opportunities as Teaching apprenticeships, teaching assistants and design work experience at our Permaculture Farm with Tom Henfrey, the only official registered Diploma teacher in Portugal.
Diploma in Applied Permaculture Design
We would like to introduce Thomas Henfrey. Tom is a co-teacher at Keela Yoga Farm’s Permaculture Design Courses. He is the only certified Permaculture Diploma tutor in Portugal. He is an author of various permaculture and ecology books and has 20 years of experience in Permaculture and Ecology. more “Thomas Henfrey – Permaculture Design Educator”
We can show you around the whole farm or focus on certain areas for a private tour and consultation. We will be happy to give you any advice you need and answer any questions you may have about your plans and your project. more “Private Farm tour & Consultations”
We were set to open our doors for guests again in two weeks but last week Portugal went back into a strict lockdown, so we have to close until further notice. more “Closed for guests due to covid restrictions”
We made a youtube video on our morning tasks at Keela so you can see he we start our day. There is nothing better than getting to connect with nature, get some fresh air and connect with animals and plants every morning before breakfast. more “Morning Tasks on a permaculture farm”
We wrote a three-page article on Sheep Wool Insulation for permaculture magazine. It talks about ways of cleaning and using insulation. More people should be using wool for insulation, this article looks at the effort vs cost saving. We have subscribed to this magazine for a few years and can highly recommend it to you. more “Our first Article in Permaculture Magazine”
During the lockdown, we had 5 guests guaranteed with us for 3 months after they were meant to leave and then we enjoyed the farm to ourselves for a while. For those of you that are not following us on social media for our daily updates, here are some photos of all the things we were up to. We are now open for guests and are running permaculture internships. more “Life During Lockdown”
Kimberly Manchee is the co-founder of Keela Yoga Farm. She is the farm and kitchen manager and resident Yoga teacher. Kimberly teaches workshops on Reiki, food fermentation and preserving, makes cheese, connects the fresh farm food to the kitchen, runs yoga retreats, teaches local yoga classes and looks after the farm animals. Have a read for more information on Kimberly Manchee. more “Kimberly Manchee – Yoga Teacher and Co-Founder of Keela Yoga Farm”
We have had a very busy year on the farm with more than 100 volunteers, many courses and retreats. We have started some new permaculture systems, continued in the food forests and with our reforestation project and the natural building projects. Here is an update on some of our current projects for those not following us on facebook or Instagram. more “Photos and updates from 2019”
Instead of the usual compost pile to heat water with wire mesh frame and wood chips we are testing this with a wall of straw bales filled with woodchips, giesta (scotch broom) and sheep manure with straw bedding. more “Water heated by compost”
A friend dropped by and took some aerial photos of each area of our farm areas. These are taken at the end of the Summer 2019 when the land is very dry and shows the work we have done on this abandoned land over the past two years. more “Aerial photos and updates Oct 2019”
Keela Yoga Farm is based on an 18.8 hectare (46 acre) plot of land in Mata Da Rainha in central Portugal. Far from any roads or noise, away from light pollution and surrounded by nature. Here are some photos of when we bought the land and before we started anything. more “Photos of the Land in November 2017”
We have now been living on the land for 8 months and have come a really long way due to the help of volunteers, we have collated a selection of photos from the summer of 2017 for those of you who dont keep up with what we are doing on facebook
Starting a permaculture yoga farm from scratch has definitely been a challenge within itself. It’s exciting, exhausting and exhilarating all at the same time. There is construction, plumbing, solar generated electrics, gardening, tree planting, water issues and much more that is taken into consideration every single day. We have been lucky enough to have a steady stream of solid volunteers that have been working through rain, shine and chilly weather in the earlier months, in order to develop our ‘Zone Zero’ building site into something a bit more homely. However hard labour, heavy lifting and digging gardens all day means that there are at least 10 hungry mouths (including Laurence and I) to feed, 3 times daily. more “Food, Glorious Food!”
Over the past few months, while working on improving our water, solar, camping spots, food forests and vegetable gardens, we now have three choices for showers: A wonderful compost toilet, a yoga room, a chill out mezzanine and 46 acres of land to hang out in. The upgrades continue every day with the help of our amazingly committed volunteers. more “Facilities at the yoga farm are improving”
Three years ago we planned to give it all up and start a sustainable yoga community in Portugal. We moved onto the land we bought less than two months ago along with 6 pioneer volunteers who offered to come and help us set up, in exchange for food, yoga and meditation.
more “Pioneer Volunteers”
Although we have only just bought the land officially on the 22nd November 2016, my birthday, we have had friends and family volunteering with us for the past two months to help us start our permaculture and yoga project. Please see some of the work we have been up to on this blog. more “Volunteering at Keela Yoga Farm”
Three years ago, my wife and I decided to leave our jobs in the city to start a self sustainable community and yoga retreat centre in Portugal. After two years of research and saving, we quit our full time jobs in Singapore and embarked on our life changing journey to find land in Portugal. This blog summarises our journey to find our plot of land in Portugal. more “Finding land for Keela Yoga Farm in Portugal”
Living in cities, I have always tried to be as sustainable as possible. But in reality, most of the products and services we buy have travelled across the world and are made either using fossil fuels or in places that once had ecosystems such as forests and woodland. We want to create a place that doesn’t harm the planet but instead heals it. more “What do we mean by self-sustainable?”
I couldn’t believe it, my last day of teaching these amazing kids had finally come around. The decision to leave teaching to start Keela Yoga Farm was not one that I had taken lightly, and the children that I had had the pleasure of teaching this year made that decision all the more difficult. more “My Last Day at Work”
You don’t wake up one day and decide to start a self sustainable yoga retreat and then quit your job when you arrive in the office, at least that isn’t how we did it.
more “Why Portugal?”
The idea to start a sustainable yoga farm first came to us while traveling South America in 2013.
We are excited to announce that we have both now handed our notices in at our jobs, and we are planning to move to Portugal to start a self sustainable yoga community and eco farm. We will grow our more “The day we quit our jobs to start a sustainable yoga farm”