Welcome to Casalinho e Escabelado, in the beautiful mountains of central Portugal. We are Andrea and Jeroen and, together with our boys, this is our home and our dream.
Our adventure began by accident some years ago when we bought a derelict little smallholding in the middle of nowhere. We worked hard on it, experimented, practised our skills, but eventually realised that we wanted more space.
When we outgrew the smallholding we bought Casalinho e Escabelado, which is a much larger quinta (around 10 ha) in need of much love and attention. We are slowly reclaiming the land and now supply most of our own fresh vegetables and fruit. Eggs, milk, cheese, a little meat, much fertility and a lot of enjoyment are provided by our animals. We keep goats, rabbits, ducks, chickens and pigeons productively, and we’ve got cats and dogs too.
The farmhouse is a work in progress and it’s taking a long time to renovate, but we are getting there! As well as the house and gardens the property contains many hectares of primarily pine forest. We’re gradually clearing these and replanting with more diverse species. One day we hope to keep pigs there.
We live a simple life without many of the trappings of modern life, but what we lack in material terms is more than made up for by the satisfaction of shaping and living the life we want. We try to live by the permaculture ethics of earth care, people care and fair shares, and are both working towards the Diploma in Applied Permaculture Design.
We’ve had immense help over the years from an ever changing group of international volunteers from all over the world and have hosted around 400 so far. Our volunteers share our lives for a short while, receiving meals and basic accommodation in return for their help with our daily activities and special projects. If you’d like to join them please get in touch.