Natural Building Courses with Yoga, Portugal

Join us in 2021 for a Natural Building course, internship or experience and learn about all aspects of sustainable building with natural materials.

Due to covid and fewer numbers, we have combined our permaculture and natural building internships.

Internship dates

  • Summer 2021 Permaculture internship – Natura Building focus + grape harvest & winemaking:
    • 3 August 2021 – Join for the full 4 weeks internship or less
    • 16th August – Join for the last two weeks or less
  • Autumn 2021 Permaculture 6 weeks internship – Food production & agroforestry focus + olive harvest:
    • 2 November 2021 -Join for the week internship or less
    • 16 November 2021 – join for the last 4 week of the internship or less
    • 30 November 2021 – join for the last 2 week of the internship or less
  • Winter 2022 6 week internship – Food production focus
    • 1 Feb 2022 – join for the full 6-week internship or less
    • 15 Feb 22 – Join for the last 4 weeks of the internship or less
    • 1 March 2022 – join for the last 2 weeks of the internship or less
Straw Bale House
The straw bale community house during building. This was completed in Sept 2019 and is used as a space for visitors to cook, eat, hang out and learn. Click for more info on this build

What is included:

  • Tour of our permaculture farm and natural buildings
  • Three Yoga classes per week
  • Three healthy meals per day, most of the produce coming from the farm
  • Working on real-life projects using most of the natural building techniques from straw bales to cordwood
  • Free camping (or option to hire a caravan, tipi or tent)

Please click here to book

Straw Bale course portugal
Our first building: a straw bale house which Laurence and Kimberly live in. Completed in March 2019

Facilitator: Laurence Manchee

Since starting Keela Yoga Farm and with the help of volunteers, the local community and course participants, Laurence has completedĀ a straw bale house which he now lives in, the straw bale community house, a wattle and daub chicken house, a long drop compost toilet using stone and wattle and daub, a straw bale greenhouse and a cordwood barn. He has been managed over 400 volunteers at Keela Yoga Farm and also runs Permaculture internships and Food Forest courses.

Wattle and Daub Chicken House
Wattle and daub chicken house in construction all materials used from our land. Finished in February 2020

What will you learn and work on

  • Firstly you will learn by doing. You will have short theory classes and long days of natural building. It will be fun, practical and sustainable.
  • Natural buildings should make use of local resources and be built in a way that fixes carbon, requires less energy to heat and cool and recycles rainwater and greywater. They should also be fun to build!
  • During the 10 week internship in 2020 we did the following (2021 details to follow).
    1. Build a straw bale room under an existing roof to be a classroom and winter yoga room, this includes:
      • Making a wall foundation with stone or earthbags
      • Making wooden frames to hold the walls, windows and doors
      • Cutting, stacking and tieing the bales in place
      • Plastering the straw bale walls with clay from our land
      • Plaster the outer with walls with clay and lime for a protected finish
      • Make and install windows and doors
      • Incorporate bottles, cordwood and cob into the walls for decoration
      • Incorporate a rocket stove thermal bench heater into the room
    2. Work on finishes and maintenance on other buildings including:
      • Long drop compost vermiculture toilet
      • Strawbale community house
      • Wattle and daub chicken house in the chicken food forest
    3. Start a new build for housing the sheep
      • Learn how to draw and design a new structure with to-scale drawings
      • Create a foundation with drainage
      • Run water and electricity to the house
      • Build a timber frame for the roof using roundwood from trees that we will harvest
      • Install a roof
      • Rainwater catchment
    4. Theory and tours
      1. Theory classes will be given throughout the 10 week period
      2. Tours of existing buildings and the farm will be given on every start date

All of these items will be covered in the 10-week internship depending on time. We may do more items or fewer items depending on the number of people that join and the speed in which we get it done. The priority will always be given to finishing the straw bale room.

If you join for less than the full 10 weeks you will still get the full tour of all the work and much of the theory. But you will not get to work on all of the items above.

Stuffing the cordwood wall with some wool insulation from our sheep in the cordwood Barn. To be completed in 2021
Long Drop Compost Toilet
Our long drop vermiculture dry compost toilet. featuring natural stone, recycled materials and wattle and daub. Completed in Sept 2019


Straw Bale Greenhouse
Strawbale greenhouse – yet to be completed. The plan is to incorporate a shower in here for the winter with tropical plants
Cordwood kitchen island in the big strawbale house

Please click here to book