How We Got Here
One dark November night, a car accident occurred, with far reaching consequences.
After nearly 3 years as a wheelchair user, Elaine, with the help of Mike, started to recover, and plan a new future. Both discovered an interest outside of their current, normal type of urban lives, Permaculture.
Two, very sunny weeks in Wales, undertaking the Permaculture Design Course, opened eyes and minds into different possibilities, and plans were devised.
Implementing them was of course another story!
The house was renovated to sell, documentaries on how to do things were watched, the dreaming started…
After watching too many episodes of Grand Design on UK TV, we purchased an old Tesco Refrigerated Lorry Body, we filled it with our rubbish and history.
Ebay is a wonderful thing, we also bought a Motor-home to live in, and despite concerns from our family and friends, loaded up the cat, and set off to catch a ferry.
Scouring various property websites, we travelled around, looking at unsuitable places, listening to fanciful tales of how cheap and easy it would all be to buy a place and start a new life in Portugal.
We settled on a magical place. We called it Rainbow Farm, well, to be accurate, Quinta do Arco-Iris. Three hectares of walled terraces, fruit and nut trees, overlooking nothing but trees and mountains.
The lorry body was transported over to us, we have now transformed it into a two bedroomed wood chalet, suitable, strangely, for wheelchair users and their families.
The motor-home was exchanged for a caravan, and 600 Lavender plants during a trip back to the UK for Earl Grey tea bags and Marmite.
At this point, we had installed a solar system for our electricity, cleaned and rebuilt the water mine, and were busy finding out that the honeymoon was definitely over. Bureaucracy and Planning Departments!
Language issues aside, problems were mounting. The point of no return had been reached, we were passionate about what we wanted to do, set up a Lavender Plantation, based on Permaculture Principles, offering learning opportunities, and holidays to Able and Disabled people alike, internationally.
Eco/Agro Tourism is a lovely phrase, but not so easy to achieve.
Portugal is a fabulous place, we are really happy and glad we have moved here, we will keep fighting to continue to achieve our goal, we have made many friends and mistakes along the way.
We wake up to the birds, breathe in the pure, lavender scented air, look at the mountains on the horizon, and get ready to climb them.
Our Vision – What we would like to achieve;
Our vision is to create a Permaculture based working farm, specialising in development of technologies to promote sustainability. Using old and new methods of growing selected plants and herbs, BioChar, Hugel Beds, non tilling of the soil to name a few.
We would like to be a Tourist, Educational and Business destination for the Lavender, and Permaculture activities, employing local people, and offering Working and Educational holidays for all people, including disabled. We have built a disabled facility from an old refrigerated lorry body, and pallets from the local wood yard. We would like to develop the site further for disabled accessibility. We would like to facilitate in the running of Permaculture Design Courses, and would like to be involved in the setting up of Portugal’s Permaculture Association.