Life During Lockdown

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”

Introducing our pigs

We have just got two piglets from a friend to help us manage our farm and give us sustainable food. We look forward to learning how to look after pigs and use them as workers in an effort to offset more carbon and produce more food.

The breed of the pigs are half Mangalitsa, half Bisaro and they will live in our pig house for two weeks whilst they get used to us. Our farm is officially called ‘Vale Leitao’ meaning Valley of the Piglet. There were already three stone build pig houses on the land when we purchased it. We had been using one of them as a chicken house until the recent completion of our new chicken house and run, so the pigs are currently in the old chicken house. more “Introducing our pigs”

Silvopasture for Chickens & Sheep

Over the past year, we have planted one field using silvopasture principles. Silvopasture is where you grow trees and shrubs with animals integrated into the system that benefit each other. The idea is to reduce carbon based inputs into the system such as tractors to cut grass and fertiliser for trees whilst getting extra forrage for the animals. more “Silvopasture for Chickens & Sheep”

Photos and updates from 2019

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”

New permanent beds this winter

We have planted several new permanent beds this winter mostly by students and volunteers participating in this year’s food forest course. A permanent bed is one that requires a lot of extra work up frot, up but shouldn’t need to be tilled, dug or have as much work in the future. It also usually consists on perennial edible plants. There are many techniques which we experiment with including sunken beds, raised beds, woodchip beds and polycultures.

more “New permanent beds this winter”

Sunken Beds

As opposed to building soil above ground with a raised bed, a sunken is a bed below ground where it is cooler and wetter. This type of bed appears to work better than a raised bed in Portugal’s hot and dry summers. more “Sunken Beds”

Composting Worms Portugal

Our compost worms are critical to our organic gardens, they are a must for any organic gardener. They not only reduce waste by eating your leftovers but create a liquid fertiliser for the garden, compost and more worms.

We sell composting worms, they are available for collection from our farm or via post.

Cost for worms

€30 per 300 worms (approximately 1kg) + €5 postage and packaging

€40 for a prepared worm farm, this includes their house, bedding, lots of worm castings. Here they will move with little stress and you will not lose any population from the move. (collection only)

Includes our booklet on keeping worms

Please contact us to order your worms

more “Composting Worms Portugal”

Nitrogen Fixing Cover Crops and Living Mulch

A list of nitrogen-fixing cover crops in Portugal and when to plant them in Portugal. Research-based on our land in Central Portugal.

This page is updated each season as we get more experience growing these. Last update in Summer 2020

Our land has low levels of nitrogen and we are looking to fix this without the use of chemical fertilizers. Our land is already growing nitrogen-fixing plants (Clovers, vetches and bird foot) trees (mimosa) and shrubs (broom), some of which we are removing due to their fire hazard.  It seems that nature naturally fixes itself if left to its own devices. However, we want to speed this up by growing a lot more green material for mulching as well as fixing nitrogen into the ground. These are called cover crops, green manure or green mulch. more “Nitrogen Fixing Cover Crops and Living Mulch”

Foraging for wild greens in Portugal

Ever since reading ‘The Moneyless Man’ that was recommended to me by Kimberly’s brother Darrell, I have wanted to learn more about foraging for food in the forest or roadside. It wasn’t until I was volunteering at the Awakened Life Project in Portugal, where they serve wild greens as the salad at every meal, that I started to learn about it. 

more “Foraging for wild greens in Portugal”