Tadelakt Guide

As promised, to everyone who participated our Tadelakt workshop, here is the method we follow to create our Tadelakt walls. Tadelakt Guide Prepare your tools and materials, you will need – spatulas & hawks, buckets, spade, wheelbarrow, plastic lid, smooth stones, olive soap, lime (we used HL5) marble powder, fine filtered clay for colour if…

2018 – Regenerative Agroforestry Results

In March 2018 we moved to our farm in Central Portugal. We began earthworks and planting very soon afterwards. 2018 was very much our learning curve. We planted hundred of trees, many survived and many died too. We learned a lot by observing which ones died, and the season in which they died. Of course…

How to make Adobe bricks

We are making a fireplace for our house and decided to use Adobe bricks. They use more or less the same mixture as your average cob, but instead of moulding the form using wet cob, you build using bricks which have already dried in the sun. Adobe bricks are much more commonplace in hotter, dry…

How we made our Cob Floor

We have just about finished our cob floor and it looks and feels beautiful. As such I thought it necessary to start the blog post about how we did it. It was a lot of work but the techniques weren’t all that difficult. Here we go First up level the places in your home that…

How to make Wine

This year we made 110 litres of wine from our vinyard at our permaculture farm. The process was surprisingly easy and after borrowing the first fermentation tank from a friend our only investment was a 100 litre oak barrel for storage during the second fermentation. We realised during the process, that we could make wine…

Wattle and daub with pine and olive

We have made our internal walls using a pine structure and green olive branches. It has worked very nicely so here is a little guide on how we did it. Firstly we built the structure using 70x100mm pine joists. We secured them to the floor horizontally and connected them to the first floor joists vertically….

Hang pictures on a cob/stone wall

Hanging things on walls built with natural materials generally requires different techniques from a modern build, and sometimes a bit of pre-planning. We are at the stage of our build where we are rendering the walls with cob and we know the layout of the rooms. As such, we are comfortable to start deciding where…

Off Grid Solar Hot shower

Before we begin, depending on where you are on the planet, this shower will not likely work during the cooler months. We are in central Portugal and experience 40+ degree C summers, and 10 to 15 degree winter days. During summer we had scorching hot water every day, warm water on cloudy days, but it…

Pallet long drop and compost toilet

Here are a couple of compost toilet designs you can make very quickly using a few pallets. First of all the situation: you need a toilet that same day, and you then need a permanent compost toilet for the foreseeable future. So here is our idea, using the same pallet for the long drop as…

How to make organic soap

Here is a simple way to make your own soap at home… First of all, what kit do you need? Large pan for melting solid oils over a heat source Your ingredients (an example soap is listed below) A probe thermometer (if you can get two it can make things easier) Scales for weighing your…