It has been a long time ago since my last post, and in that time a lot of things changed in my life! A little over a year ago I still lived in Holland, Amsterdam. I was dreaming of getting started with permaculture and a more sustainable way of living for years, and finally, last february I bought a small quinta in central Portugal. Its in the Coïmbra district, but close to Viseu and Guarda district. I have the impression most people on this site who live in Portugal are in the Castelo Branco region, on the other side of the Serra da Estrela mountains. But here are also a lot of people (mostly foreigners) busy with permaculture and sustainable living. That was one of the reasons I wanted to stay here, there is already a local community forming, there are markets (Barril do Alva, Vila do Mato) where they sell their local produce.. I hope even more people will come to live here, so we could create networks of trade and helping each other out.
My quinta is about one acre, and has a well with plenty of water. I have over twenty olive trees, a lot of quinces, pears, citrus, hazelnut, grapes, and other fruits! Its also great that on my land and around, there are a lot of (cork)oak trees, so its not only pine and eucalyptus. I want to make a foodforest, and its nice I already have so much trees! The land has no house, and no ruin. Currently I stay in a caravan, but I am planning of building a small house here. Last spring I started with a vegetable garden, and despite I didn't have much experience with gardening (mostly knowledge from books), I had quite a lot of different vegetables to harvest. The soil is a bit poor, so not everything was growing well, but ok, that will take some years.
I am very happy I made this move! But I think this life here could be so much more beautiful if I could share it with a likeminded girl! The problem is, most people of my age are still leaving the countryside for a life in the city, so its not easy to find someone.. Also, most locals seem not really to understand what people like me are doing here, they would prefer the opposite move, go to Amsterdam, London or Berlin to make money!
So maybe someone on this forum would be interested to get to know me! Since I didn't make much friends yet, it would be nice to get to know more people (M/F) in this region.
I recently started getting interested in geting some land in Portugal. Been reading all I can find about it in the last days.
Sometimes I Wish I could find a lifepartner that has the same interests as me, it would be more fun. I have a project in sweden now but I have a feeling for Portugal for the future...
Sorry to read about the fire, IT must feel like a real setback and I hope you find your way again.
posted 2 years ago
Thank you for your post. I am currently in India, but in two weeks I will fly back to Portugal to start up again. I will do it on a even lower budget than before, it will be adventure. Right now I am looking if its possible to buy second hand jute bags here in India, ship them to Portugal, and make a fire resistant dirtbag house. It will be hard work, but cheap.
Its always good to hear that more people are interested in living in Portugal, I would like to see more likeminded people settle in the central part of the country. Now, after the fire it is a good time to buy. Prices are low, a few days back I checked online offerings of land, and found one of 2,5ha for just €6.000. Of course agricultural land is more expensive than forest, and a house (or ruin you could rebuild) drives the price up. And I would pay more for a good water source.
So if you are serious about moving to Portugal, I guess you would come to visit and look around? You would be welcome at my place, maybe I could help you find your ways around a bit. Let's keep in touch!
posted 2 years ago
I have been thinking a lot about the fire situation and your story in particular. I find it really upsetting. I Also been thinking about whether I could do it on my own i Portugal. I have already Done a project in Stockholm and I am on my third year. Renovating an old shed to a livingspace With outdoor kitschen and bathroom and Also slowly planting a foodforest. Doing that on my own has been a real test. Sometimes it feels like I have hardly done anything. But many things I have built twice or even Three Times', because I have been unhappy With the results or because better materials has been Found.
IT is just really hard to do everything on your own, even though I have friends and family close, They dont really understand what I am doing so I feel lonely. I guess IT is really important With permie neighbours at least. Or maybe IT is not worth doing on your own. ITs Nice and safe be able to make all decissions, but lonely! And more fun With other people to share with.
So anyway, I have been thinking about Portugal a lot, the fire scares me, but cant stop thinking about it anyway. I have only been to Portugal once as a child, so I guess I Will have to go check it out. I am a gardner so Work season is starting for me now, so no time to travel until november. I am probably going to india then but have some time before and after I guess if Portugal is still on My mind.
posted 2 years ago
Yeah I feel the same, about doing everything alone. Also my family don't really seem to understand what I am doing, and after the fire there was not much support from them. On the other hand, doing so much alone also made me more self confident. But sometimes its lonely, so it would be great to meet someone to do it together.
The fires are scary for sure, but after this fire in the whole area there is nothing left to burn, it will take about 15 years before a fire gets a chance to get big. So for the coming years we will be really save there, and in that time I want to plant all kinds of fire resistant trees. Like that I could save my land from the fire the next time. I also will buy a good waterpump (so far I did everything by hand, with buckets), so I can wet my land when a fire comes close.
And yes, gardening and travelling are difficult to combine, for me the fire made it possible to do some travelling. It was a good choice for me, leaving the mess behind, escaping the winter in Portugal. Now I feel like I have more power to rebuild everything. Today I will continue to look for a cheap way to send jutebags to Portugal. I can buy those bags here for only ten rupies a piece (about €0,13).
So keep me informed about your plans to come to Portugal!
I am planning to come to Portugal between November and January (2019) and looking for places to Woof.
I am not sure about Portugal as a long term option (as I live in a paradise community in Aus) but love to check out as many permaculture projects as I can while I’m there.
I’m Australian, a chef and gardener and know a fair amount about PMC but so much more to learn.
Anyhow if it’s appropriate I’d like to come and visit you while I’m there.
My email is:
email@example.com Cheers and hope all is going well
Hi Andreas, Sounds like you have a great spot with lots of mature fruit and nut trees already established! I just bought a small (about 1/3 acre) piece of land in southern Portugal on the Guadiana River and am also planning to set up a small Food Forest and live as sustainably as possible with what I can generate on the land. My land is (currently) wild and unkempt, with a couple of spindly pomegranate, olive and overgrown fig, but I'm looking at getting as many edible trees in as possible. I'll be starting from scratch on the infrastructure - no well, or house/ruin - but have been propagating trees and trading cuttings with neighbours, so plan to add to the plot with much more this season, as well as start some of the land works and infrastructure.
I'm creating a local tree/plant trading system - something I did while living in Canada - its an amazingly wonderful way to meet people. I met some fabulous people and discovered some amazing plants, and learned so much about gardening! Its a great way to connect with other Permaculture folks and share knowledge, ideas and resources too. Maybe you could do something similar in your area?
I'm sure glad that he's gone. Now I can read this tiny ad in peace!
Greenhouse of the Future ebook - now free for a while