The “Land Project” complements the online community of the Quinta Project and is located in Portugal, in the Alto Alentejo. The site has 5.5 hectares (13.5 acres), and there are three structures (two of which are habitable). Three streams cross the land, most of which is planted with cork oaks and olive trees. There are also 100+ fruit trees, including apples, apricots, pears, plums, almonds, strawberry trees, figs… and many more.
Our vision for the land
We bought the “Land Project” space in the autumn of 2021, and are now transforming it to become the physical home of our hybrid eco-village. This means creating spaces to live for community members while on the land, creating community spaces, and planting and engaging in a series of projects to revive and regenerate the land (see our Wiki/Docs for details of the current projects).
What is there on the land?
At the moment, there are three structures, two of which are habitable. There are also a large number of trees, shrubs and other plants, which we are in the process of identifying (there are more than 1000 trees alone, so it’s not an easy task!).
The land is stunningly beautiful: It is located in a mountainous area and has a relatively steep incline in parts. When standing on the top of the land, you have sweeping views across the São Mamede Natural Park and up towards the city of Marvão. In the valley, you have quiet spaces around a small stream that created the valley (and after which the valley is named). Most of the property is woodland and we are sharing the space with many animals that have made their home here, including wild boars, badgers, Egyptian Mongooses, salamanders, Fresh Water Turtles, wild cats, frogs, foxes and rabbits.
Much of the land, especially around the two streams that carry water most of the time, is heavily overgrown. Because of the overgrowth, some parts of the land are not accessible. The main way connecting the three structures is easily accessible, but other paths are overgrown and need to be cleared.
On the lower part of the land, there are also some terraces. Most of these are in a relatively good state, however, a number of the dry walls that keep the terraces standing have collapsed or are unstable.
Two ancient irrigation systems run across the land. One is mostly destroyed and needs to be rebuilt. The other is relatively intact, however, as it was no longer used to irrigate the terraces that it crosses, most of the actual irrigation infrastructure is either missing or in disrepair.
You can see impressions from the land and spaces in the many pictures on this site!
What about the houses?
At the moment, there are three structures, two of which are habitable. All three structures were previously ruins that have been rebuilt by the previous owners.
We have a community (shared) kitchen and living space, bathrooms etc… conditions are basic and comfortable. During the winter, most spaces have salamander-style heaters. There is electricity (on-grid). There is no fixed-line phone connection, however, mobile reception is good. All houses have running water – although it is quite tempting to go to one of the streams (in summer!).
How can you get involved?
The best way to explore how you can get involved in the project by joining one of our Open Meetings. During these meetings, there is time to ask questions about the project and talk your ideas through with fellow community members.
If you can not attend one of these meetings, get in touch by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
To find out more about visiting, check out the page on visiting.
Please note: We do not offer B&B accommodation. Please do not travel to the property without making appropriate arrangements!
What are the next steps – and the road ahead?
There is a lot of work to be done to bring our ecovillage back to a sustainable life, and we are all working hard on it. Here are some of the key steps we are trying to complete in the near future:
- creating office and work spaces for members on the land.
- creating volunteer/member accomadation
- fully transiting to a solar energy supply
- installing heating and hot water systems that run on solar energy and heat pumps
- converting some of the existing spaces into community spaces
- creating guest accomodation
- … and lots of work on the land!
You can always check out the “current” projects we are working on right now by using visiting the Wiki/Docs Projects Page