Wow August was HOT!!! Being from the English Lakes we weren’t sure how we would survive days with over 40 degress heat – but we did!! We just did what people mainly do here in August – stayed inside, swam in local pools, rivers and lakes and didn’t do much work on the quinta at all apart from harvesting our figs, grapes, blackberries and more recently large apple tree!

I felt the energy quite intense in August though. Not sure if it was because of the heat here and the constant fire risk (about an hours drive from us there were some fires that went on for 3 days, completely out of control and it burned a whole mountain-side and 85% of someone we knows fruit and veg farm). There were fires popping up all around us and luckily we were safe, but had to be constantly checking where the smoke and ash as coming from. Understandably it put a lot of people here in Portugal on edge a little.

 

We (well I) personally felt like in August I was navigating a few other issues that had popped up for us as a family and I took the time, hiding from the heat to go inside a little, ride the storm and come out with a new energy and direction.

In a new place it takes time, sometimes months, sometimes years to put your roots down, find your tribe and what direction your family should go in. Sometimes you may feel you have found your tribe, then things change and you need to move in a different direction or do things to protect your family. I truly believe, especially in the world we are in now, that we need to protect ourselves and our little ones and only surround ourselves with positive people and environments.

This is all a bit vague but for us as a family August was about analysing where we are at and what is right for our family here. There are still some things we don’t know yet, but we have come out of the hot summer heat and intense August energy with a new energy for our project here and what we came for, which had been lost for a little while whilst we settled in a bit.

After the move here we have restored balance to our family life, got some rhythm and normality back into our home, we are both working on our own work projects, which has brought balance back into our relationship and we have joined a human cooperative in the area which is really positive. Jude and I have also become part of a fermenting food group after doing a workshop on fermented foods with Dearbhla Renolds of The Cultured Club. Jude is really into it, he loves chopping up the veg and mixing in the various liquids and then working out dates they are ready and putting labels on. Lots of other great positive things have been happening this month too. I went on a lovely yoga/ tonic day and found out more about how we can live without toxins, we celebrated Jude’s 7th birthday with friends at a local river beach and we’ve just bought a new van to go on adventures in! Aaaaand we have finally started our food forest with some winter veg going in this week. Next week the local coop are doing a work day at ours to get more veg beds prepared and give us some advice – we really do need it!

 

Oh and I also launched an organic range of t-shirts for kids and mums which has been quite fun 🙂

After going through many ups and downs and challenges and now finding more and more positive things to get involved in we are even more committed to providing a safe, positive and natural environment for our children and other families to explore too.

We have decided to keep the original name of our Quinta ‘Brejo de Serra’ which means Mountain Range. We decided it fits well as the rocky mountains surrounds our place as if it protects us like a little nest. It will also be known as the Parent Tribe retreat and we plan to start offering events, workaway opportunities, workshops and eventually family retreats. We will also be going away sometimes ourselves now we have our new van, so will be hoping to find some trusted house/ dog/ cat sitters we can call on when we go off on our travels.

I walk around our land and have visions of other families being here, learning with us, having fun, getting to know each other, creating, gaining valuable experiences, and I know somehow I have to make that happen! For my boys I so want this. I would really love for them to learn through many real life projects on our quinta and meeting lots of creative and inspirational folk who visit.

I am so excited to say that after our trip to the UK to see family and friends in October we are going to start taking workaways and offering events. I wasn’t sure if we should wait until we are set up a bit better, but then I realised I would love for us to have visitors soon and share the experience of what we are creating here and for us to meet some new people.

In November our good friend and her family are coming to visit and Clare is going to do our first children’s event which will be a forest school day.

We will then have workaway opportunities in the winter for hardy camping or campervaning families to help with olive harvesting and building an outdoor seating area/ fire pit. In spring we also plan to set up a family workshop for building a simple roundhouse shelter where kids will also be able to get involved.

As well as all of these exciting plans we will also have other projects at our place including building a shady veranda onto our house, tending to the food forest, building paths and more! I am going to start planning and putting events up on the website and the Facebook page soon so watch this space.

Workshops/ retreats I am thinking gardening for kids, forest school, creative workshops, flower essences for the family, mother and baby retreats and more as the ideas come!

Exciting times ahead and I can feel the vision coming to life already!! With a few other friendly families around to lend a hand I’m sure the project will come to life much sooner.