Volunteering at Keela Yoga Farm

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.

Also check our volunteering page to come and join us or click here for more photos of Keela Yoga Farm:

Nyomi testing the earth at different spots around the land to see what we can use for earth building. Good news! 1 metre below the organic soil, we have clay in some areas and sand in others! Perfect conditions for growing food and for natural building materials.
Tim clearing some of the invasive Mimosa trees that are around the house. So far we have found many uses for this invasive species including wood chips, fencing posts, fences and walls, and as a structure for building with adobe.

Louise drawing to scale drawings of the area to help us with our permaculture design.
Collecting oak acorns for planting on our land
Collecting oak acorns for planting on our land as part of our reforestation project.
We started out mass planting of seeds for our reforestation project on our farm. In this picture, Bonnie and Louise are planting oak, holm oak, cork and chestnut. We plan to plant a lot more and of a larger variety.
The Keela community visited a local small holding and helped them with their annual olive harvest.
Cutting and storing firewood to keep us warm for the winter months and for heating water.
Every week there has been a slightly different group, everyone helping make it fun and keeping things moving.
Tim helping to build a solar water heater in front of our house. We have a lot of sun in Portugal and plan to harness it to heat water, create electricity and of course grow food.
Laurence conducting the daily morning meeting at Keela Yoga Farm.
Tim helping with deconstructing some of the unsound structures at Keela Yoga Farm.
Noel and Laurence clearing mimosa trees, an invasive tree that we are using for wood chips, firewood and natural building.
Laurence trying to clean the well.
Sharmaine weaving mimosa branches into a wall for one of our natural building experiments.
Team outing to Penamacor.
Team building a vermiculture compost bin for breeding worms in the rented house in the local village. We have been renting a house while we were waiting for the land sale to go through and will keep renting it until we have improved facilities on the land for volunteers.
Bonnie and Laurence collecting corn from a local small holding to help them save their own seeds for next years planting.
Kimberly harvesting grapes at another small holding for wine. Every week we visit a different farm to help them and learn from them.
Planting seeds for our first vegetable patch
Working together to turn the gentle slope next to the house into terraces with swales and a horta (vegetable garden).
Many trees on the land were burnt down in a fire several years ago. We have had to cut down the burnt tree and leave one of the suckings to grow into a new tree. We are hoping these pear trees will grow well.
Planting seeds for trees as part of our carbon offsetting project.
Laurence putting in a gate for Keela Yoga Farm’s first food forest.
Chilling by a fire after a day working on our permaculture design.
Our first harvest of olives, helping friends in the village.
This area by the house was full of weeds nearly 2 metres high. We are turning it into a vegetable garden with two swales.

Click here to see some more photos of Keela Yoga Farm

Fancy seeing what it is like to start a project from scratch? We are now open for volunteers from January 2017 onwards to help us setup the farm and facilities. Please visit our volunteering page for more information.

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