Portugal

Discussion in 'Buy, sell, trade, give away & exchange' started by belkis, Nov 5, 2012.

  1. belkis

    belkis New Member

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    Hi

    we are living in central Portugal on a small farm - quinta in portuguese (5ha), which has an orchard (oranges, lemons, etc), and a large olive- and a vineyard. About half of the area is wilderness. We try to live as beings who are part of nature and not masters of it.
    We are looking for a similar-minded couple (m/f, m/m or f/f), age and nationality no importance, who would be interested in sharing our land, our work and our life here in Portugal. Children are welcome. Pets have to be discussed.
    We are a mixed couple (m 51 yrs / f 37 yrs), living together since 2004. Among ourselves, we speak English, but our mother tongues are Russian and Flemish. We speak French, Dutch, some German, and we are learning Portuguese. We have no children.

    It is not easy to sketch our ideas and our life philosophy in a few sentences, but we will give it a try:

    * We came to Portugal, not to escape anything, but because we were (and are) convinced that our lifestyle (work, earning a lot of money, big house, big expenses, lots of travel, lots of supermarket food etc) was not sustainable at all. We lost our connection with nature. Moreover we believe people are destined to live outside, and living outside is most comfortable in a warm climate (cfr our African origin). We came to Portugal to become a part again of nature's great web of life.

    * Who and what influenced us? Difficult to say in a couple of sentences. One of us lived and worked as an anthropologist for a couple of years among tribal and/or nomadic people. We like Walden/Thoreau and the novels of Daniel Quinn. We are interested in permaculture and forest gardens, not as way to control nature, but as a way to restore as best as possible the damage we did to nature. If there is one philosophy that interests us, it has to be anarcho-primitivism, and some of the ideas of John Zerzan, Derrick Jensen etc...

    * We are not extremists. We are not following rigidly the principles of whatever system, not even of the systems we believe in, like permaculture. For instance, next to growing a forest garden, we are also growing annual vegetables for food. Maybe one day our perennials and forest garden will supply us with enough food, but that day has not come yet. We don't believe in agricultural systems but still we are raising chicken, ducks, geese and goats, and we are not planning to cut down our olive trees, our orchard or our vineyard.

    * We are not religious, not new-age spiritual. We are quite down-to-earth people, but we enjoy staring at the stars at night, and playing the guitar

    * We are not vegetarians , but omnivores. We try to give our animals a good life and in the end some will be killed for food. We like a good glass of wine, preferably our own wine. We love finding our own wild foods, plants, mushrooms, animals,...

    * We are not workaholics, there should be a lot of free time for walking, playing music, cycling, or just enjoying life. The work load should be shared by everyone, and everyone should work according to her or his physical capabilities.

    * We live mostly outside, we sleep in a tiny caravan and that suits us very well. Maybe one day we even sleep outside. On the property we also have a little 20m2 house, we use it mostly for storage. We are not planning to build a big house. Just for the contrast, before we came to Portugal we lived in a 300m2 house with 3 bathrooms, we don't miss one square meter of it...

    * We own a car (4x4), but we try to use it as less as possible, at most once or twice a month. One day we want to live without a car. We try to use our bicycles as much as possibe, but remember, roads are not flat here...

    * We live off grid: we have a small solar system which powers a fridge/freezer and pumps in the summer. We have a windmill, but we didn't install it yet. Our water is supplied by two big wells, but we get our drinking water from local springs in the region. We cook when it is sunny on a parabolic dish, when it is not sunny we have our wood stove. We have 3G/4G internet, we use it to talk to our parents (Skype) and to check our mail (but all of this very irregular, maybe on average 2 hours per month). Compare that with an average internet time of about 25 hours per week p.p. before we came here We have a portable phone, for emergencies, but we never carry it with us...

    * We have a very enthousiastic dog, sometimes too enthousiastic, but we hope she keeps the foxes away from our poultry...

    * What about earning money? It is certainly not our priority, we have enough money for several years of frugal living. As much as we would like to, in the current situation it is not possible to live without money. We will probably sell or exchange some animals, honey, milk products, vegetables, olive oil, etc. We are also thinking about giving workshops and on the long term, about writing a book.

    A couple of facts about this area:

    - it gets very hot and dry here during the summer 35C-44C (june-sept). Almost everything you grow needs to be given water. The autum and spring are very agreeable, warm and a little bit more wet. The winters can be a bit fresh especially at night. A couple of degrees of frost is possible. On average there are more than 300 sunny days and more than 3000 sun hours per year.

    - we are located at 3 km from a little village, and 30 km from a big town. For European standards, it is a bit in the middle of nowhere. To get to our property you have to drive a dirt road for the last 1,5 km. It is possible to drive this dirt road with a normal car but it is a bit bumpy. We have some non-permanent neighbours (gardeners), who come and go. One is using sometimes a generator for power. We hope one day he will switch to solar.

    - the village has a beautiful "old centre", a couple of small shops and a primary school. There is almost no tourism in this area. All the villages over here organize a lot of street festivals, concerts, parties and traditional roman catholic events.

    - the portuguese people are generally friendly, open-minded and hospitable

    - there is almost no big scale agriculture and industry here.

    - there is some wildlife here

    If someone is really interested, please let us know and tell us about yourselves. If we believe your life philosophy is close enough to ours, we will propose to meet at our place, and spend a week or so together. If necessary, we supply you with a tent and a bed. If you still like us and the place, and we still like you we propose a 6 month trial period. You will have to buy your own small caravan or a small yurt. During these 6 months we share equally all costs of living. To give you an idea, at this moment we spent about 100 euro p.p per month, excluding transport, property taxes and health insurance costs. We have a basic health insurance, costs about 1.000 euro per year for 2 people. The property taxes amount to a couple of hundred euros per year. Our car we will share. Insurance and road tax is 500 euro per year. Costs of petrol are additional. We do most of the car maintenance ourselves.
    The amount of money we will spend per month will decrease gradually, because in the end we want to be as self sufficient as possible. Our estimate is that 125 euro p.p. per year should be enough by 2014 + additional costs for health insurance (500 euro p.p. per year, if you are young, it is cheaper), property taxes (50 euro p.p. per year) and transport (around 225 euro p.p. per year). There are not so many places left where can you live a wonderful life for less than 1.000 euro p.p.per year. If after the 6 month trial period you and we feel that we could live together, we go for it. As simple as that.

    Looking forward to hear from you. As said, we are not often online, so it can take a while for us to answer...

    Greetings, Rudi
     
    Joao likes this.
  2. wanderingfree

    wanderingfree Junior Member

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    Hi Rudi,

    How have you both fared for the last 8 years?
    I hope you've been well, and perhaps even that you've managed to steer clear of some of the increasing insanity that seems in abundance these days.

    Did anyone join you?
    May I ask what region of Portugal you're in?

    If you have email, signal, jabber, or use IRC, or some other easy chat method, and are interested in chatting about life, the universe and everything, please let me know.

    All the best,

    Michael
     

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