Help Us Regenerate After Firestorm

Our community in central Portugal, a close-knit group of 11 adults & 2 sweet babies living on 5 neighboring farms, were hit by the fierce flames of recent wildfires.

Because of the unprecedented scale of this natural disaster, we need to reach out beyond our locality for help. Too many here have been affected, and so we are asking you, our international network of friends and well-wishers, to be a part of restoring the land to health.

This campaign is to ask for financial assistance to help us rebuild our homesteads and regenerate the landscape. 

Small scale, sustainable homesteading blending traditional practices with modern innovation is a vital part of preserving the planet’s natural. On our farms we are are attuned to permaculture principles and striving to improve our ecosystem organically and holistically. We nurture the newts in our water tanks, the bees in our gardens and the lizards in the old stone terraces as carefully as the produce in our gardens and the olives on our trees. As a friendly group of like minds and warm hearts we share responsibilities, time and tools, creating a community who have been shaken but not fractured by these events.

Having observed the damage, we are now mindfully considering our plan of action based on up-to-date research on helping land recover from fires, the wisdom of our neighbours who have nurtured this land for generations, and our own past experiences.

We are committed to staying positive and working hard to re-design the blank canvas of this precious earth to deter future fires, protect the wildlife and continue to share the abundance of this ancient and fertile land for future generations.

-Two homes completely incinerated (Bella's yurt and Derek & Maiken’s earthbag home, where Nick & Madeleine were living)

-Two camping cars (to host volunteers) demolished

-Roughly 11 hectares, collectively, were reduced to black ashes

-Water and off-grid energy systems were damaged

-Loss of about 500+fruit trees collectively

-Replace household items and tools for Isobel, Nick & Madeleine. 
- Prevent erosion with earthworks and terrace rebuilds, as much as possible before the winter rains, on all 5 farms
- Implement rain-harvesting techniques to hold more moisture amidst severe and frequent droughts 
- Build one underground water cistern to secure drinking water and sufficent garden irrigation
- Repair established drinking water systems and electricity lines. 
- Regenerate the soils by sowing "green  manure" with groundcovers like clover, wildflower mixes and mustard 
- Create living firebreaks by reforesting with foresight. We need to create healthy deciduous forests, replacing invasive species like Mimosa and Eucalyptus with resilient native species like endangered cork oak, to withstand and protect the land from future wildfires
- Replant various fruit trees
- Rebuild our greenhouses and  and strengthen our seed banks
- Recreate basic living spaces for our volunteers with fire retardant materials (like cob, lime, concrete and aircrete)
- Invest in greater fire safety materials such as respirators, extinguishers, sprinkler systems, etc.  

We are hugely grateful for this gift of life, for the opportunity to recreate this land with sustainability and long-term growth in mind, and for the generosity of your support. Together, step by step and breath by breath, we will transform this world into a more beautiful and safe place to thrive.

  • Anonymous 
    • €20 
    • 44 mos
  • Susan Forbes  
    • €60 
    • 44 mos
  • Vernon Reeve 
    • €15 
    • 44 mos
  • Adam Dagget  
    • €30 
    • 44 mos
  • Debra and Sandy Davies 
    • €22 
    • 44 mos
See all


Sarah O'Brien 
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