Our intention is to live in balance and harmony, with mother earth/pachamama , and be as self sufficient as we can. We wish to pass on our experience of this to our guests so that we can all benefit from the reconection to nature.
It´s a daily learning process and the changes we make in our lifestyle come gradually. We are always open to learning from others experience and ideas for more sustainable ways to live are always welcome, so please share your knowledge with us too.
The main house is powered with solar energy batteries, and an eolic windmill.
For the hot water system, we also use the sun, and a wood boiler, that helps to heat all the buildings.
The wood used on the boiler is from our own forest, and is harvested in a sustainable way.
Our project at Monte Velho started with reforestation, with umbrella pine tress, cork trees, and strawberry trees that were planted in 1997. The land had been abandoned and wild for more then 20 years, it was infested by acacias and eucalyptus trees, the soil was very poor with lots of stones and little water.
A lake to collect the rainwater was our first step to revitalize and revitalise the land. Without water we knew that nothing was possible….
While we were digging the lake with machines, we used the clay, and argile, to build the main walls of Monte Velho. After 2 winters the lake was almost full of water and the wildlife began return to the land. We could hear the birds singing again, frogs croaking, and rabbits, foxes and wild boars and other wildlife were happy to share the land with us.
Now we use the water from the lake for our permaculture garden during the summer months, and for the horses.
Our vegetable garden is growing every season , and we are planting more fruit trees in the same area. Permaculture gives us the chance to grow different vegetables all year round and supply our kitchen with delicious food.
Our 34 hectares are mostly cover with umbrella pine trees, which produce delicious pine nuts. The trees are now 15 years old, and the last years we have had a good harvests, during the winter time , collecting up to 3.000 kilos of pine cones!
Pruning the trees every year gives us lots of wood to use on our boiler, to give us hot water and heating.