Our last big build!

 
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.
 
 
This is a big undertaking and an exciting project. We are building with wood from the forest that surrounds us. The frame is made from round wood using three crucks to support the massive eucalyptus ridge beam. Crucks are curved timbers that support a roof.  Our roof beam will lie in the crosses where the crucks meet. Here are the three crucks lying down.
 
 
And here are Marko and Varun maneuvering the massive ridge beam into place ready to be raised.
 
 
It is not an ideal time to start a building project with the possibility of autumn rains coming and so there is some pressure to finish, or at least have the roof on before the weather turns which could be any day or many weeks. It is not like us to prefer that rain comes later but a couple more dry weeks would really help us. 
 
 
The work started last year with Marko choosing, felling and milling trees to be part of the building. Some of the trees were taken to our local woodyard for milling into planks which will be the external cladding to make the walls. The larger foundation beams Marko milled in the forest himself.
 
 
 
Using roundwood means there is a lot of de-barking to be done. We have done most of that ourselves with a little help from our friends!
 
 
 
 
 
These massive trees had to be moved from the forest with the help of a hand-cranked winch, some simple leverage technology and our trusty pick-up - 'Brunhilde'. Here are Marko and Floris working out the technology!
 
 
We obtained the roof tiles for the project free and second hand and our wonderful volunteers Merce, Marina and Katrin cleaned every one.
 
 
For the last two weeks the focus has been choosing the cruck beams, cutting the trees, debarking them, getting them from the forest to the site and lastly and very importantly making joints. This means chiseling. A lot of chiseling. Varun from Belgium, another wonderful volunteer, has been trained up to make joints and he and Marko are busy chiseling away from dawn.
 
 
Day after day
 
 
after day
 
 
after day!
 
 
They seem to be enjoying it though!
 
 
Producing beautiful work....
 
 
And they're sometimes allowed out to go and watch the sunset!
 
 
This Friday the huge, heavy crucks will be raised with the help of our friend Angelo and his trusty JCB. Watch this space for more photos and video. Until then a huge thank you to everyone who has helped so far - Floris, Ricardo, Katrin, Merce, Marina and Varun!
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Article: 
Blog

Events

Quinta da Floresta, Benfeita October 21st 10 - 5pm

I am very happy to announce 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 - Date TBC 2018

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.

LATEST BLOG POSTS

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.
I am passionate about building with round wood because it simply makes so much sense.