This piece of land is an old Portuguese farm that has not been used or cared for in many years, and only sporadically used for goat and sheep grazing. Judging from the extent and manner in which it was built, its history and use probably spans 100-200 years, possibly more. Use of this area goes back to Romans times, and who knows who was here before that, and before that…
The land is varied in topography and has diverse vegetation. The olive orchard has some really old trees. There are also remnants of a vineyard, orange and fig trees in need of pruning. There are beautiful terraces with dry-stone-walls up to two meters, overgrown with ferns, brambles, young oaks and wild fruit trees. Old agricultural wells dot the land, and a mixed forest of mostly oak, pine, mimosa and eucalyptus stretches over about a third of the land. A handful of the oaks are in the hundreds of years range, but most are probably about 20-50 years old. The land consists of a valley and two ridges. The valley collects enough water to form a small stream in the winter and early spring.
The many granite boulders and rock outcrops make this land unsuitable for large-scale farming, but ideal for the creation of many small growing plots with microclimates, sun traps, as well as relaxation zones, tree houses and many other cool projects.
Over time we’d like this to be a permaculture experiment with a thriving orchard and vegetable garden, medicinal herbs, greenhouses, cisterns, irrigation systems… and BEES!!! Habitation for friends, family, guests, and volunteers will include renovated stone-buildings, treehouses, and other structures.
There are many other projects we’ll get going, hopefully also with your involvement. In the next year or two we will build infrastructure, keep restoring the orchard, clear/clean/thin parts of the forest, and plant more trees.
Let us know if you want to get involved or have thoughts you want to share. We’d love to hear from you!