On July 13th, 2022, a terrible forest fire (ignited by arson!) swept through our beautiful home of Arrabida, Palmela, Portugal, burning over 400ha of nature to the ground.
We watched as the flames came up the slopes, and the firefighters tried in vain to protect our beautiful land from going up in flames.
Much of our beautiful land has been burned. But, some miracles happened as well. Luckily no humans or animals were hurt. Pamir, the cat, and all our eight chickens survived the trauma. Our wooden house stands unscathed like a true miracle!
The past 48 hours have been a soul-warming show of community and solidarity. So many of you came to help clean up the debris, reinstall the watering system (most important!), brought food, and we are starting to rebuild what has been lost.
Our two sheds containing all our agricultural equipment, tools, seeds etc., worth thousands of Euros, burned to the ground. We have already spent over €1000 on new pipes and hoses to be able to water the land and our ailing food forest (which has miraculously withstood the flames!) and to help replant vegetables and trees. Our outdoor kitchen, furniture and tool sheds are but a grey heap of ashes.
Our partners, Iza and Mathias from RegenWaves, lost €5000 worth of irrigation system and plants, and much of our medicinal food forest burned down.
Juan & Judith, partnering with RegenWaves and living on our land in their caravan, lost their home and everything in it.
Angela & Tiago, who created the beautiful food forest 'BateFolhas' and taught us so much, lost most of their 5ha of land.
Your donation will help us rebuild and re-buy what we need to continue the work and to show the power of community and regeneration. We are hoping to raise enough funds for Juan and Judith to buy a small used caravan and to be able to pay some of the volunteers who would be in a position to help us rebuild over the coming months.
And despite the sadness and drama that unfolded so quickly, we started calling our land "The Miracle of Palmela":
In a sea of black, a green strip of land — lush and still beautiful, and now a refuge for so many birds and insects from all around — still stands proud! Our well-cared for and well-watered food forest survived the fire! What a testimony to the power of agro-forestry and regeneration!
Your contribution will help keep us motivated to continue our work and spread the love! Please forgive that we are not itemizing each and every item we will use the money for, but we will send pictures and updates. The more money we raise, the more people in our community we will be able to help; so many of our neighbors and friends have lost a lot in the fires.
Thank you from the bottom of our hearts,
Mareile & Matthieu
(you can also email us: [email redacted])
Matthieu is watching two years of hard work go up in flames. You can see Judith's caravan still standing on the right...
Juan and Judith's caravan an hour later.
Part of the medicinal food forest
Our outdoor kitchen
The fire burned over 400ha of natural forest and 5ha of Angela and Tiago's land 'BateFolha'. We will distribute donations to all tour dear friends mentioned in this campaign.
Our land on July 7th, 2022
Our land on July 14th, 2022
The RegenWaves Medicinal Food forest project before the fire.
The upper part of the land before the fire.
Let's all work together to make the Miracle of Palmela Food Forest even more beautiful than it was before!