1. Who i am
I'm André, an ex industrial engineer becoming a farmer wannabe. After my graduation and related working experiences i realized that i have made the wrong choice so i started thinking about what could i do instead and where could i be a happier human being. The bell rang when i discovered the south of Portugal, it's amazing beaches and vast golden plains.
Only the what to do was missing. That was the quickest step. How to improve myself as a person, improve the environment i lived in and the society as a general? I've always found peace whenever i was in farms or in-to-wild so agriculture seem to be the natural answer.
Time passed and here i am in Vila Nova da Baronia, Alentejo, the former cereal region of Portugal, ready to work hard and be happy.
2. Project aim
My goal it's to establish a permaculture project on Terra Viva farm.
The project, based on Food Forests, will try to demonstrate that permaculture instruments, theories and ideas can be used to implement a sustainable comercial farm and, simultaneously, have a positive impact on the soil, on the fauna and flora, on the landscape at a general level, on the environment and in the community where it's based on.
This region of Portugal was used, last century, as an intensive cereal production that depleted the soil's nutrients. This fact in alliance with the hot summer climate makes it hard to meet the water resources required for the maintenance of the local ecosystems.
Here enters the benefit of swales, step number one, a tool to help water infiltrate the soil and recharge the groundwater table and also a way to provide enough water to tree lines without irrigation.
Step number two will be to build small lakes spread through the farm and step number three will be to do composting and planting some legume trees, ground covers and cover crops to gather nitrogen, protect the soil from the sun, rain and wind, decompact and mulch it.
Through all this steps, i hope i managed to re-introduce life back in the soil and in to Terra Viva.
Apart from this, we're planning to build natural constructions, a dry toilet, shower and kitchen to support the farming activities as well as the learning activities on site and for volunteers and visitors.
This picture shows a basic initial layout of the farm.
3. The campaign
This campaign has the objective of raising 600$ to allocate to the rent of machinery in order to build the swales. Terra Viva farm has 7ha, 200 meters wide and around 400m long. I want to build 10 swales, six of which with 180m and four with 44m, to initiate the transformation of the arid land and dead soil in to a lush and productive permaculture farm.
Your generous contribution will be of deeply importance to the sustainability of this almost deserted area by improving it's biodiversity thus enrichning the lifes of the communities around.
Thank you, you are welcomed to visit Terra Viva whenever you want and can, to keep in touch and know more, contact me at: firstname.lastname@example.org.