Gratitude in abundance

It’s autumn again and the abundance is obvious. The forest and land is heaving with food and we know of no greater joy than getting out into the hills and foraging this freely given resource.
Our bodies seem to be built for this work. Our hands are made for picking up chestnuts and teasing them carefully out of their spiky cases. Our fingers are perfect for plucking ripe, juicy blackberries, figs and medronhos from bush and tree without squashing them. Our eyesight is subtle enough to distinguish the variety of wild edible leaves amongst the patchwork of the green. Our legs are happy to carry us through forest and up mountain.

The collection can be undertaken alone or in community and both are deeply satisfying. Roaming together sharing stories and insights as our ancestors must have done for thousands of years. We revel in each others company as we do in the treasures we are finding.
Being alone on the forest is also powerful and allows us to sink into a deeper intimacy with plant and land. It seems to be deep in our blood; the satisfaction of taking basket and bucket and very simply wandering about picking, plucking, identifying, nibbling and gathering. This is pure living - nature and simplicity.
The sharing of the harvest is best done together - feasting in community only increases the joy and sense of abundance.
When we consider the generosity of nature offering these gifts for our delight and to fill our bellies it puts us directly in touch with a profound gratitude. This gratitude is energising, restoring and part of the natural cycle of giving and receiving that gives endlessly and causes no harm. With this energy and pleasure freely given we give back, working happily to restore forest and land and learning to live as lightly as we can on this earth.
This is a full and beautiful way to live and we are deeply grateful to be living it.


Practical Ecosystem Restoration
Helping Nature to get back on her feet after years of monoculture and wildfires.
Practical Ecosystem Restoration
Would you like to come and help plant some native forest, learn about ecosystem regeneration and reconnect with Nature and yourself? Then join us on an Awakened Forest Project work weekend.
Quinta da Floresta, Benfeita - Sunday December 1st 10.30 - 4pm

Another opportunity to begin to learn the art and science of foraging in our beautiful valley in the Serra do Açor.

Quinta da Floresta, Benfeita - June 2020

People have retreated to wild places for millennia to find inner peace and a greater perspective on life. Nature, in it’s simplicity and beauty, supports a profound relaxation in body, mind and soul.


It has been a long time since I have written a blog post because so much has been ongoingly changing in the last year. I wanted to wait until the dust and ash had settled and I knew where I would be before I wrote.

Many of the plants and trees the bees and other insects thrive on have burnt in the October fires and will not be flowering this year and some not next year either if they recover at all. Here are my suggestions on how to help the pollinators through these lean times.

God these are heartbreaking times. Rain that was so longed for in the summer is now pouring off these hills taking soil and stone and track with it onto the terraces and into rivers.


Many people have asked us how they can help in the wake of the fires and all we have lost. We are very touched and grateful for these offers of support. Here are some ways you can help:

We have started building the second floor of the workshop!! This will be our last major build here and will provide a dormitory and meditation/workshop room which will increase our capacities for events and hosting people, especially outside of the summer months.