Portugal

Cobbing a home with Leen

2019-12-05T13:28:58+00:00

On the last day before leaving Portugal we met Leen. She is building a cob house on a hill by experimenting with different techniques. She’s showing us the way she saw a good functioning building method in India. She learned it all using Facebook and Youtube. The elements are wool, sand, clay, water, stones. All available nearby. Why she wants to build like this has all to do with the fires. She realizes she wants to live in a natural building that will survive fires and exists for ages. This way her ecological footprint will be smaller. [...]

Cobbing a home with Leen2019-12-05T13:28:58+00:00

Living in a Magic Valley

2019-10-07T14:19:23+00:00

Bees, waterfalls, fruit trees, yurtlife on steep hills, a messy garden, rawness and feline cuteness! All in Magic Valley where Haico and Else worked hard to create a place to not only reduce their ecological footprint, but to give something positive back to the earth. It took us a long time to release this video, and in the meantime a lot has changed. The dream is still very much alive, but in a different format. Haico about this video: “You can see the build-up of our land in the summer of 2018. Our first year! What a lovely time. So [...]

Living in a Magic Valley2019-10-07T14:19:23+00:00

Off-grid living in Portugal: Moving on after the fires. Wendy Howard’s Quinta Do Vale [Benfeita]

2019-10-05T09:29:54+00:00

Wendy Howard is the personification of resilience. In 2008 she decided to escape the rat race and start a sustainable permaculture project in Benfeita, Portugal. Fast forward ten years and there is a blooming site where many aspects of the permaculture philosophy came together. Then disaster struck in the form of forest fires. In 2017, about half of the project got destroyed.  Wendy tells us about the inner guidance she experiences and how she still has a strong sense that she needs to be here, in Portugal. She is rebuilding everything, and after a grim winter, things are looking good [...]

Off-grid living in Portugal: Moving on after the fires. Wendy Howard’s Quinta Do Vale [Benfeita]2019-10-05T09:29:54+00:00

Off-grid in Portugal: At Mount of Oaks we meet sustainability, simplicity and slowing down

2019-01-31T09:04:28+00:00

We were tired and in need of rest when Mount of Oaks came on our path. This intentional community is all about slowing down, simplicity and sustainability. The right place in the right time for us! Their residents believe that living simpler will yield more happiness. Yes, it may be less comfortable, but that trade-off is worth it. We talk to Emma Cowan about the ideals behind this place and Barbara da Nova Leite Cowan shows us the natural buildings: made with straw bales, cob, wattle-and-daub and empty beer bottles…! Check out Mount of Oaks here! [...]

Off-grid in Portugal: At Mount of Oaks we meet sustainability, simplicity and slowing down2019-01-31T09:04:28+00:00

How to make adobe bricks – natural bricks from clay, sand and… horse dung!

2018-07-28T09:07:38+00:00

Stomping around in a heap of horse dung. It’s not something I do every day. But when making natural bricks (so called adobes) this is a necessary part of the process. We have gathered in Happy Valley in Benfeita, Portugal, where Prem and Roshni are building a bathroom with natural materials. Part of the walls will be made from a natural type of brick called ‘adobe’. These bricks are made from a mix of clay, sand, straw and some lovely horse dung. According to Bruno, who is teaching us how to make the bricks, the horse dung helps to provide [...]

How to make adobe bricks – natural bricks from clay, sand and… horse dung!2018-07-28T09:07:38+00:00